Drop and Give Me 40: The Power of Pushups

Yes, yes, you already know that exercise is important and that you need to hit the gym. But did you know that a regular ole pushup could be your answer to a stronger heart and a longer life?

There is no doubt that daily exercise can improve one’s health and longevity. In fact, physicians and countless studies all stress the importance of fitness and how especially crucial it is for heart health and the prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).

Drop and Give Me 40!

A recent study of more than 1,500 male firefighters between the ages of 21 and 66 (39 age average) over a 10-year period, looked at how a simple pushup could help prevent heart disease. The results were astounding! It found that the firefighters who could complete a minimum of 40 pushups within 30 seconds had a drastically lower risk of heart attack, heart failure and other cardiovascular ailments over the next decade compared to those who were only able to complete 10 pushups within the same time.[1] That is a 96% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a great credit to the average pushup! Even those firefighters that could complete 11-20 pushups within those 30 seconds still saw a 64% reduction in CVD, showing us that you do not have to be a pro-athlete to see positive results. Better health is achievable and completely within your grasp.

The Magical Pushup and Heart Health

A pushup lifts approximately 50% to 70% of your body weight, engaging the whole body from top to bottom and working several muscle groups at once including arms, chest, core abdomen, hips and legs. How many pushups you can do at one time offers a good indication of your strength and muscular endurance.[2] But let’s be honest, the average pushup can be difficult and for a beginner, doing more than 2 or 3 at a time can seem downright impossible. Please do not let this discourage you. There are many variations of the pushup[3] that are a little more comfortable (such as a wall-pushup), but still work the heart. You no longer need to break your back to see those great fitness results that you are striving for.

Love Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women worldwide. Although CVD can refer to many different heart and blood vessel ailments, it is technically the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels caused by atherosclerosis, plaque buildup that thickens and stiffens the artery walls, inhibiting blood flow through the arteries to organs and tissues. This can eventually lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. This risk can be minimized in very manageable ways such as keeping your A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol in check, avoiding cigarettes, exercising daily, getting plenty of sleep, keeping weight down and eating foods high in fiber.

Getting to the gym can be a challenge, but the truth is, you don’t need a gym at all. All you need is a bit of willpower, a little time and your body. If you don’t have the spare time, make it! Exercise is imperative to heart health and can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

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[1] (Yang, Christophi, & Farioli, 2019)

[2] (Solan, Matthew, 2019)

[3] (Dr. Laskowski, Edward R., Krupa, Nicole, 2018)