By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Drop and give me 40! A new study finds that active middle aged men who can do more than 40 push-ups at a time have a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health followed more than 1,100 middle-aged male firefighters over a decade. They looked at two specific measures: how many push-ups they could do and their exercise tolerance on a treadmill.

(Photo credit CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

They found that men who could do more than 40 push-ups had a 96-percent lower risk of heart disease than those who could do no more than 10 and their ability to do push-ups was a better predictor of cardiovascular disease than their stamina on a treadmill test.

This study was done on generally fit middle-age men so they’re not sure how it might apply to less active men and women, but they say push-up capacity could be an easy and free way to determine someone’s heart risk.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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