The importance of blood pressure control is widely known. People are concious about their sodium intake and drink no more than 1-2 coffee a day, due to the fear that these things cause high blood pressure. (In the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s Scientific Report both sodium and coffee has been rehabilitated, and it’s been stated that neither is a concern for overconsumption.) All the while doctors and patients are aware of the importance of their blood pressure, they miss some maybe even more important factors.
One of the most important component of ageing, longevity and health is muscle strength. The stronger you are, the lower the chance of death and hospitalization. It’s not a negligible thing – those extra 10 years earned with blood pressure control should not be spent in a wheelchair…
Though the „stronger you are – the longer you live” paradigm might seem trivial, the severity of this statement could not be understood without the results of the following study published in Lancet. This study presented the outcome of following almost 140.000 people for six years. Researchers found the following:
GRIP STRENGTH IS A BETTER PREDICTOR OF ALL CAUSE MORTALITY THAN SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE.
Simply stated: the stronger your grip, the smaller the chance of you dying.
So while you pay close attention to your blood pressure (which is very important), you can put some salt on your food, drink a cup of strong coffee but you MUST go to the gym and start working out with weights – if you want lo live a long and good life.
(Who knows, maybe your blood pressure will decrease spontaneously due to weight training…)
- Age Ageing. 2015 Sep;44(5):790-5. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv080. Epub 2015 Jul 11.
- Lancet. 2015 Jul 18;386(9990):266-73. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62000-6. Epub 2015 May 13.
- J Pediatr. 1984 Jan;104(1):147-51.