Actually, most of us learned how to do pushups in the pre-teen years. Also, when you are that young, pushups were relatively easy to do. Most of all, pushups exercise your pecs, deltoids, triceps, and your core muscles.
Meanwhile, many decades later, it turns out pushups are more than just another exercise. In fact, a Harvard University study, in the Journal of American Medical Association, recently reported that pushups may prevent cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the study reported that men who could do over 40 pushups were 96 percent less likely to develop heart conditions when compared to those who could only do 40 pushups.
Most of all, it’s not necessary for you to do 40 pushups to get some of the benefits of a healthy cardiovascular system. In fact, being able to do just 11 pushups shows that your risk of heart disease is low. On the other hand, if you are not able to even do 10 pushups then you are not in good health.
However, the Harvard study was just observational, which means that you can’t assume being able to do 11 pushups is a sign of good cardiovascular health. But, for anyone who regularly doesn’t get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, doing 10 or less pushups is a sign they need to go see a doctor.
Actually, the nice thing about pushups is that they are easy to do and does not need expensive equipment. While, the current method of evaluating cardiovascular health is the expensive and time consuming cardiac exercise stress test that uses a treadmill. Meanwhile, pushups count is a better measure of cardiovascular health that even the treadmill test. The Harvard study also found that pushups count is even better than aerobic capacity (as exemplified by the treadmill test) to evaluate cardiovascular health.
Especially relevant, the World Health Organization estimates there are 17.9 million deaths, or about 31 percent of global deaths each year, from cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, factors that affect cardiovascular diseases include unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol.
Finally, since the Harvard study was based on male firefighters in their 30s and 40s, the findings may not apply to women or to older or younger men. Furthermore, firefighters generally have to stay fit for their jobs. And this fitness may have been showcased by the excellent cardiovascular systems of some firefighters who could do 41 pushups. So, the takeaway is that, even, you can help yourself by becoming fit and by the way work on those pushups.
As a matter of fact, for the purpose of the study, these pushups had to be done consecutively to the beat of a metronome set at 80 beats per minute. Furthermore, the counting stopped when the metronome reached 80 or if the firefighters missed 3 beats of the metronome, or the firefighters got too exhausted to continue.
Most of all, to be considered as having excellent cardiovascular health, you need to be able to do 41 or more pushups in about 60 seconds. Indeed, to do that many pushups, you have to be pretty fit. Which means, you have to regularly be doing a good amount of exercise, to be able to do 40 or more pushups. Most of all, just focusing on cardio or aerobics alone won’t get you there – you also have to do resistance training to build up your upper body muscles.