Most people are aware of the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise. But what about resistance or weight training? Here’s an interesting study that may help answer that question:
Researchers from Harvard and Indiana Universities assessed the “push-up” capacity of over 1000 male firefighters in Indiana. They divided these men into 5 categories based on the number of push-ups they were able to complete without stopping: 0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, and >40. The men were followed for 10 years and assessed for the development of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers found that the more push-ups the subjects were able to do, the less likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease. Specifically, those subjects who could do more than 40 push-ups in one attempt had a 96% lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those who could do less than 10 push-ups. The subjects who could do the most push-ups also had lower blood pressure, less diabetes, better cholesterol profiles, and were less likely to smoke (all of which may have contributed to their better cardiovascular health).
Can’t manage 40 push-ups in a row? There’s good news! Even those subjects who could do greater than 10 pushups had a much lower incidence of cardiovascular disease than those who could do less than 10.
It’s important to emphasize that this study was done in an overall young, healthy, and physically fit population. But it still highlights the importance of strength training in addition to aerobic exercise, good nutrition, control of blood pressure, and control of cholesterol in preventing cardiovascular disease.
We at C3 are dedicated to your heart health in every phase of life. If you have cardiovascular health concerns, or just want some advice about your heart health, schedule an appointment with us today! Now, I’m going to go do some push-ups.