Can you…? Open bottles and jars easily
Do you struggle to open jars and bottles? It’s often a sign of muscle weakness and can even be related to your general health.
Researchers have long used grip strength as a measure to predict ageing and mortality. So rather than just thinking it’s a natural sign of ageing, as soon as you notice your grip strength is starting to decline then that’s the time to act.
Here are some simple exercises you can do every day in your own home to help you improve your grip strength.
Rip it up
When you’ve finished reading your newspaper, rip it in half, then repeat using the other hand alternating each time until you can’t do it any more.
Wring it out
Hold a thick towel which has been rolled up, grip and squeeze gently as if you’re wringing it out. Then hold the towel vertically and squeeze, then bring your pulse points inwards in a wringing action. Hold for three seconds, relax and repeat up to 10 times – remember not to hold your breath. When we do this in at our Move it or Lose it classes we use a short tube of pipe insulation, which is kind on the joints.
Turn both hands so your palms face upwards with thumbs stretched out to the side. Take the thumbs across the palm to touch the base of the little finger then stretch the thumb back out to the side. Repeat 10 times.
Squeezing a ball is another way to improve grip, but make sure the ball is not too small or too hard especially if you have arthritis of the hand.
Here’s a short video showing you some really simple exercises you can do to improve your grip strength using a ball; these can be done every day even while you’re watching the television.
If you have painful joints then do take advice from a medical professional before trying any of these exercises.