We all know that being physically fit is one key to heart health, lower blood pressure and overall general well being. However, new studies are helping health practitioners determine the general fitness of their clients through a simple question. How many push ups can they do?
Yes, push ups are known to be an effective body-weight exercise perfect for sculpting shoulders, pecs and triceps. And now, this low maintenance exercise is being linked to a healthy heart and longer life.
Alarmingly, heart disease affects nearly one in six Americans and is actually the countries leading cause of death. Knowing this, it is important for everyone to start focusing on heart health and its importance for a long life. Stress, bad diet and lack of exercise all contribute greatly to high blood pressure and an unhealthy heart.
Recent studies have revealed that men who could do more then 40 push ups in a row had as high as 96% less chance of being diagnosed with heart disease then those who struggle to knockout 10. The study was conducted on 1104 active male firefighters between the ages of 21-66. The study found that after 10 years, out of 1104 of the men, 37 developed a form of heart disease. Only 1 of those 37 were able to perform over 40 push ups. “Our findings provide evidence that push up capacity could be an easy, no-cost method to help assess cardiovascular disease risk in almost any setting”, said Occupational Medicine Resident at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
An interesting way to look at exercise is to see it as medication; instead of immediately popping a pill, establish what you are feeling or what is happening or specific things that you wish to prevent happening to your body and align an exercise that could potentially help this area.
Dr Jordan Metzl has discovered many ways to treat specific ailments or conditions through exercise in his book, “The Exercise Cure”. For example, if you have a bad knee, work on the ligaments surrounding the knee in an effort to strengthen the muscles instead of feeling the pain and grabbing a pain reliever. The same can be said about blood pressure and cardiovascular health, instead of waiting until you need a prescription pill for a troublesome ailment, begin doing push ups. Not only will they keep your heart healthy and your blood pressure low, they may also save your kidney from having to dilute any prescriptions.
Some professionals are saying that it is the perfect whole-body exercise. A push up activates nearly every muscle in the body. It also strengthens the back and the core by engaging the abdominal muscles. The push up is classified as a compound exercise, which means multiple major muscle groups (triceps, biceps, core muscles and anterior deltoids) are called upon to support your body while stabilising your movements. It is also a series of muscle stretching for health and vitality; when lowering yourself to the floor, your back muscles are effectively stretched and as you push yourself up to the starting position your biceps get a good and thorough stretch.
Push ups can be done anywhere and almost anyone can do them. For best results, make sure that you have the correct form and continue to add variety to the types of push ups that you do, for example, knees down, against a wall, one handed etc. To begin to incorporate push ups into your life, a great way to get started is to start a push up challenge. A push up challenge is where you slowly build upon the amount of push ups you do per day, to gently and effectively build the appropriate muscles and your strength and stamina. People who have done the push up challenge have reported building up to doing 100 reps a day within two months. Not that this is the desired outcome of the push up, but it is a fun challenge for yourself while you are working on establishing push ups into your daily life.
Push ups will also help build body muscle definition and help to release the Human Growth Hormone (HGH). The more muscle mass used in an exercise, the greater the amount of HGH released throughout the body. As we get older, the natural production of HGH is drastically reduced so that we need to work on ways to keep it pumping throughout our body to help support overall natural growth throughout our entire bodies. Alongside all of this information, push ups are reducing blood pressure and are maintaining heart health, what is not to love about this age old exercise.
Push ups are an amazingly effective exercise tool that requires no equipment, can be done almost anywhere and can be done quickly and effectively. The benefits of the push up regarding our overall health and wellbeing is profound with many major muscle groups being activated and many major muscles being stretched. It helps to define muscles and encourages the production of HGH throughout the body. Aside from all of the fantastic body benefits, the push up also has also been proven to support a healthy heart and lower blood pressure. Cardiovascular health is essential in living a long and healthy lifestyle so it is very important, especially as we get older, to take note of what we are doing for our hearts.
Being able to do forty push ups has been proven to lower your risk of a heart attack by 95%, which is a drastic when compared with the heart health of those who cannot even do 10. Take control of your body’s health just by incorporating a simple exercise technique and work on keeping that heart young and healthy.