Push Ups and Longevity
Recent Study is a Biomarker Reminder
Take a moment and read the recent New York Times article, How Many Push-Ups Can You Do? It May Be a Good Predictor of Heart Health. It appears that being able to perform well on a push up test is a better predictor of heart health than the traditional treadmill test. The article postulates several reasons for the research results. We only need to read the book Biomarkers for a thorough explanation.
In the book Drs. Evans and Rosenburg looked at the measurable “biomarkers” that keep humans healthy, independent, and fit over an entire life span. They have determined the top four biomarkers are:
- Muscle Mass. What percentage of your body is made of muscle.
- Strength. Can you use that muscle to push, pull, lift and carry.
- Basal Metabolic Rate. The number of calories your body expends at rest.
- Bodyfat Percentage. What percentage of your body is composed of fat.
The authors named these top four biomarkers, the decisive tetrad. They are the prerequisites to maintaining healthy numbers in all of the other essential biomarkers.
- Aerobic Capacity
- Blood Sugar Tolerance
- Cholesterol / HDL ratio
- Blood Pressure
- Bone Density
- Internal Body Temperature Regulation
Push up proficiency requires muscle mass, strength, and a minimal amount of extra load to lift in the form of bodyfat. Those three traits are all a part of the decisive tetrad. To age well, stay durable–no injuries, and maintain control of all health parameters–we need to maintain or improve muscle mass / strength and not avoid extra bodyfat. An ongoing program of strength training and nutritional discipline are the foremost components of fitness and health.
Now get on the floor and give me twenty.
View the article here.
Michael O’Hara PT, OCS, CSCS