11: that’s the number of push-ups that you need to manage in one set ensure you have a healthy heart. A study carried out by the School of Public Health at Harvard submitted more than 1,000 firefighters to physical tests, which included push-ups. The results showed that the firemen that managed to do more than 40 push-ups in a row, were 96% less likely to develop a heart condition than those who couldn’t do any more than ten.
However, you don’t necessarily need to be able to do 40 push-ups to be in shape.
"What they fail to highlight is that data showed even doing 11 push ups was associated with decreased heart disease risk," explained cardiologist Dr. Christopher Kelly to Men’sHealth.com.
"I think the main headline is that if you can’t do more than 10, you’re in bad shape."
Results that don’t completely reflect reality
In fact, the results of the study also show that if you can do between 11 and 40 push-ups, the risks of having heart problems aren’t really that much different. Does that mean that from the moment you can do more than 10 push-ups, your heart is healthy? Not really.
Initially, the study is only observational, which means the data that was collected didn’t take other parameters into consideration. Therefore, this doesn’t prove that managing to do so many push-ups means you have a healthy heart. However, if you can’t manage 10, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor just to make sure everything is okay.
And yet, push-ups were just one of the hundred exercises that they did to check the firefighters’ health. As Daniel Chaffey recently explained in an interview, some athletes don’t have the same strengths as others, yet they are all champions. As it goes, someone who can run 5 kilometres might not be able to do 10 push ups and vice-versa. This doesn’t technically mean that they have problems with their hearts either.
Staying active, eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting enough sleep are the three pillars for having a healthy life (not taking into account hereditary problems). Push-ups are a good exercise for staying in shape, but they’re not actually an indicator of a healthy person. However, they are a good test to figure out how good your fitness really is.