How Pushups Can Help Men’s Hearts
By Matt McMillen
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on March 26, 2019
Sallis says that men often become discouraged when their exercise routine does not lead to weight loss: “They think their program’s not working, but that’s wrong.” He says that fitness — or your capacity for exercise — is a much better indicator of your health than weight, at least up to a point.”All of the data tells us that if you can be active and do those pushups or other exercises, the weight doesn’t matter unless you’re morbidly obese,” says Sallis.New to exercise? Start slow and ramp up. Sallis recommends daily brisk walks at first, building up to 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes a day.”Try 10 minutes a day at first,” he says. “If that’s all you can do, I’ll take it. Even low doses of exercise provide benefits.”And if you don’t like pushups? That’s OK. Do something else. “I don’t necessarily want people to do more pushups,” says Sallis. “I want them to be more fit. Do whatever you want to do — you’ve got a large menu.”
Questions for Your Doctor
Should I avoid some types of exercise?Some conditions will make certain exercises a bad choice. For example, shoulder arthritis may make pushups impossible. Try other bodyweight exercises.Do I need to be evaluated before I exercise?Most people don’t need a doctor’s permission to start moderate exercise, like a walking program, but if you have heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic health problems, check in with your doctor.What health red flags should I watch for? See your doctor if you feel any chest pains while working out or if you have excessive shortness of breath. Knee pain also should not be ignored.Do my medications mix well with exercise?Some blood pressure medications affect your heart rate, cause shortness of breath and dizziness, and make you more likely to get dehydrated. Review your prescription drugs with your doctor when starting to exercise.Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of WebMD Magazine.