If you're over 40 and can not do 40 pushups in a row, it might be time to do something about it.
A new study suggests the number of pushups close to Old man may show performance, may be an indication of his overall heart health.
Men who can do more than 40 at a time have a 96 percent lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease compared to men who can hold fewer than 10, according to online results from February 15 in the JAMA Network Open ,
"There was essentially a dose response," said senior researcher Dr. Stefanos Kales, Professor of Environmental Health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "The more pushups you could do, the less likely it was that you had heart disease."
It seems that push-up capacity can be a "marker of general physical fitness".
"As you can well imagine, there are people who are world-class marathon runners who can not do a lot of pushups, and there are people who are bodybuilders who can do a lot of push-ups but can not walk well ", he added. "But in this study and other studies we conducted, we found that push-up capacity and aerobic capacity correlate fairly well."
For the study, Kales' team studied the heart health of just over 1
The men's push-up capacity was measured at the beginning of the study, and participants also underwent a treadmill test to verify their aerobic capacity. Each man then underwent annual physical examinations and completed health questionnaires.
During the 10-year follow-up, 37 men had heart problems, the findings showed.
Researchers divided the men into five groups of 10 pushups and ran the numbers to see if their push-up capability accurately predicted heart problems.
Even after adjusting for age and BMI, the investigators found that the number of pushups a man could perform predicted the risk of heart problems. According to the authors of the study, push-up capacity was more associated with heart health than aerobic capacity, as measured by a standard treadmill test.
Nevertheless, physicians are likely to continue to rely on stress-treadmill testing as a measure of heart health. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
"I agree with the authors that push-up performance can correlate with stress testing," Bhusri said. "Nevertheless, the data and information collected in the stress test are still the gold standard."
Because only men were involved in the study, their results can not be applied to women. Kales suspects that there would be a similar relationship, but it may have to be measured differently.
The push-up test could not accurately predict heart problems for everyone, Dr. Gerald Fletcher, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
"This is not a good measurement, it really is not because many people had musculoskeletal injuries," said Fletcher. "Some people have trouble with their arms, I had an arm injury while playing high school football, so I do not use my arms that much to do push-ups."
According to Dr. Guy Mintz: Pushups could be a better estimate of "physical fitness and cardiovascular health in occupations that require increased physical capabilities, such as police officers, firefighters, or plumbing workers." Mintz is the Director of Cardiovascular Health and Lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at Northwell Health in Manhasset, New York.
Fletcher suggested that people who want to protect their heart health should try to do 25 to 30 minutes of aerobics most days of the week. Examples are walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike or exercising on an elliptical trainer.
Mintz recommends his patients the "rule of the fours".
"These are 40 minutes of uninterrupted aerobic activity, at least four times a week, to provide four benefits – including improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and blood sugar – leading to better cardiovascular health," said Mintz.
The American Heart Association has more about the stress test.
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