A new study finds that married men and women are in better physical shape than their single counterparts.
Marriage and physical capability at mid to later life in England and the USA was published in PLOS ONE and analyzed the walking speeds and grip strength of both sexes in the United States and the United Kingdom. All participants were age 50 and older.
The study found that widowers who did not remarry had a weaker grip strength than men in their first marriage. Remarried men had a stronger grip strength than men in their first marriage.
Married women also had stronger grip strength than unmarried or widowed women, but the difference was not as prevalent as it was for men.
The study also found that men had a faster walking speed than unmarried men. The same held true for women.
“Much of the marriage advantage [of physical capability] was explained by the greater wealth of married people,” researchers noted. However, the enhanced grip strength and walking speed were “not explained by wealth, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health behaviours, chronic disease or depressive symptoms.”
The researchers concluded that the grip strength advantage for remarried men may be “due to unobserved selective factors into remarriage.”
Studies have shown that grip strength is related to lower mortality rates. So, how can you increase your grip strength? Here are a few tips courtesy of Nerd Fitness:
- If you spend a lot of time at a computer, stretch your hands out regularly on your desk by standing up, facing your fingers towards your body, and rocking back and forth.
- Put your hands on your desk facing forward and stretch the thumbs out by rocking back and forth.
- Put a rubber band around your hand and stretch it out and in.
- Buy a hand gripper and squeeze it regularly.
- Take a heavy book and grip it by the spine with your fingers. Move the fingers up and down the spine while holding it in midair.
- At the gym, pick up dumbbells by the head and hold for 30 seconds.
- Walk around carrying heavy dumbbells.
- Use a towel to do chin-ups.
- Hang from a bar for up to one minute.
- Execute wrist curls and reverse wrist curls.