Pushups have long been a standard measurement for strength. While this is true, a new study that tested middle-aged male firefighters has found that pushups are also an indicator of heart health.
New study finds a connection between pushups and heart health
The study found that firefighters who could do more than 40 pushups in a row had a whopping 96 percent reduced risk of being diagnosed with heart disease or having heart issues over a ten year period, compared to men who could do fewer than 10 push-ups.
During the study period, 37 cardiovascular incidents were noted among the 1,100 study group. Only one of those events occurred in men who completed more than 40 pushups.
Men who could do 11 or more pushups had a lower risk than those who could do 10, suggesting that even aiming for 11 could be remarkably helpful.
According to study officials, these findings do suggest that “pushup capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk.” However, they also warned that pushup capability is not necessarily an “independent predictor” of heart disease risk. Other factors such as a person’s age, body mass index and aerobic fitness levels would be considered.
Other ways to protect your heart
Besides getting really good at pushups, consider the following things you can do to increase your heart health:
- Practice good dental hygiene: Persons who have gum disease are at a greater risk for heart disease than persons who do not have the condition.
- Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is necessary for overall health and wellness. If you don’t get enough quality sleep, you could be compromising your heart health. One study of 3,000 45-year-old plus adults found that those who slept less than six hours each night were twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack than those who slept six to eight hours
- Don’t sit for too long at one time: Research shows that staying seated for long periods is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do. It is essential if you sit for long periods of time, to get up and move around as often as you can, especially if you are traveling.
- Eat healthily: Stick to a whole food diet that includes plenty of healthy fat, organic fruit, and vegetables as well as nuts, seeds, and protein. Stay clear from refined food especially sugar.
- Stay active: Keep active, find something that you love to do and do it often. It might be swimming, dancing, running, cycling, or hiking. Whatever you do, do it often and have fun.
- Manage stress: We live in stressful times, and stress can cause tremendous strain on the heart. This creates a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Take time to breathe and relax daily, don’t over commit yourself and do things that help to keep your stress in check like journaling, exercising, deep breathing exercises, etc.
- Stop smoking: Smoking can cause many health problems including cancer, lung disease, stroke, and heart disease. Even if you don’t have any other risk factors, but you smoke, you increase your risk of developing heart disease by two to four times according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking causes plaque to build up and hardens arteries which cause your heart to have to work harder.
-The Alternative Daily