The Best Exercises for a Stronger, Healthier You

The Best Exercises for a Stronger, Healthier You

When a recent study set out to measure how fast different groups of people tend to age, they didn't look at their number of gray hairs or wrinkles, or even medical measures like blood pressure or cholesterol. Instead, they measured the strength of the each person's grip. Both researchers and physicians rely on this easy measurement because evidence shows that a weak grip predicts all sorts of things, from longer hospital stays to disability and early death. Of course, simply working out your hands won't guarantee survival. Grip strength is predictive because it's a sign of health in other parts of your body: frail muscles in your hands probably mean frail muscles elsewhere, and an inability to close your hand fully could signify neurological issues. Still, grip strength itself is important in old age, when the ability to grasp a countertop while walking or grab the arm of a chair while sitting can mean the difference between a safe arrival and a broken hip. To measure grip strength, experts use a specialized device called a dynamometer, but you can use something as simple as an analog bathroom scale to watch for differences in your strength from month to month. Weightlifters and other athletes have targeted exercises to build hand musculature, but for the rest of us, getting enough exercise is one of the best ways to maintain strength into old age. Here's how to make that happen.

Can You Get 2 Hours of Exercise In Less Than a Half Hour?

The Vasper system is designed to provide the benefits of a two-hour workout in only twenty minutes.

03:49

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The Vasper system is designed to provide the benefits of a two-hour workout in only twenty minutes. (0:10)

  • 2

    Astronauts who spend long amounts of time in space experience loss of strength in their muscles and bones. (1:16)

  • 3

    The Vasper system aims to increase the body's production of natural growth hormones by upping the concentration of lactic acid in the muscles. (2:03)

Strengthen Your Core, No Crunches Allowed

Sit-ups are actually a common cause of injury.

02:55

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Sit-ups can lead to herniated discs in the spine and cause back pain. (0:13)

  • 2

    Here are several alternate core-strengthening exercises. (0:42)

  • 3

    If you did hundreds of sit-ups, your discs would break before your spine had a chance to catch up. (2:38)

How To Strengthen Your Grip

It might be the best indication of your overall health.

Why Doctors Are Prescribing Yoga

It's been proven to alleviate back pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Exercise Is Vital, But Not For Weight Loss

When it comes to dropping pounds, it's what you eat that matters most.

05:51

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Exercise burns far fewer calories than many people think. (0:47)

  • 2

    When you lose weight, your resting metabolic rate typically slows, which is why losing weight becomes harder over time. (2:56)

  • 3

    Studies have shown that combining a healthy change in diet with exercise leads to sustainable weight loss, but that the inclusion of exercise makes a small or negligible difference after a certain period of time. (3:34)

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