Alert
Close

Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location

AARP The Magazine

5 Tests That Could Save Your Life

Surprising screenings that can pick up the early signs of illness

5. Open That Jar

What it detects: Likelihood of future disability

How it works: You might not think of grip strength as an important indicator of overall fitness. But low grip strength has consistently been associated with disability later in life, as well as with postoperative complications and premature death, according to Richard Bohannon of the University of Connecticut, whose review study on the subject was recently published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. While grip strength on its own doesn't affect your ability to climb stairs, for instance, it's a marker that is correlated with walking ability.

What to do: Physical therapists use an inexpensive machine called a hand-grip dynamometer to analyze grip strength, but you can measure your grip strength in other ways, Bohannon says. Open a tight jar lid. Pick up a gallon of milk and carry it across the room. Lift a long-handled pan with one hand. If you can't do these tasks successfully, you need to build your overall fitness.

Member Discounts! Save on eye exams, prescription drugs, hearing aids and more

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

IN THE NEWS

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members get exclusive points offers from Walgreens, Duane Reade and Walgreens.com.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points