Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have made some interesting conclusions after a ten-year study. Turns out, the number of push ups a middle-aged man can perform in one minute may give him an idea of future risk for heart disease. The magic number? Those who could complete more than 40 push ups during the preliminary exam were 96% less likely to develop heart disease and cardiovascular problems in comparison to men who completed 10 push ups or fewer. That’s a significant number when you consider that, as of 2016, close to half of all American adults struggle with some kind of cardiovascular disease.
The study’s 1,104 participants averaged age 40 and a body mass index of 28.7. After the initial push up test and during the following decade, they had periodic physical exams and completed health surveys. At the test’s conclusion, 37 heart health issues were reported. And while those men knocking out more than 40 push ups had the lowest risk, there was another surprising find – men who could complete just 11 or more push ups also showed reduced risk of future heart health problems. Unfortunately, the study’s authors caution that more research is needed before these findings can be found conclusive in other population segments, like women, seniors, and those who aren’t as active. But this is a good way for the average man to hedge his bets.
Push Ups & Your Health
Since the study’s bottom line is that push up capacity can be used effectively to assess cardiovascular disease, this is an important baseline for middle aged men. If you’re relatively active but unable to complete 40 push ups in one minute, or if you are largely sedentary and likely can’t complete one push up, let alone 40, either scenario may be the wake up call you need to start making changes to your health now. In Reno, the certified personal trainers at Framework Personal Training can help. Whether your goal is improving your push up capacity, building muscle tone for improved flexibility and balance, or reduced body fat, our trainers will create a personalized plan that will accommodate your current fitness level and your goals. Contact us for a complimentary consultation today.