Apparently the number of push ups a middle aged man can do is a pretty good indicator at his risk for heart disease.

February is National Heart Month and apparently doing push ups will do your heart a great deal of good. A recently released Harvard Study says the more push ups a man can do can relate to a lower risk of heart disease. The study looked the heart health of male firefighters throughout a 10 year span and found that men who are able to do forty push ups had a significant reduction of cardiovascular disease risk than men who were able to complete fewer than ten.

The ten year study looked at more than 1500 men from various fire departments in the state if Indiana from 2000 to 2010. At the beginning of the study each participant had a physical exam and test that included push ups. Throughout the decade, 37 of the men experienced a cardiovascular problem - heart failure, coronary artery disease or sudden cardiac death. Researchers found that those men who had completed 11 or more push ups at the beginning of the study were less likely to have a subsequent cardiovascular problem than those men who could do 10 or less. For the men who had a higher fitness level and could complete more push ups, their outlook was a lot better.

"Participants able to complete more than 40 push-ups had a 96 percent reduction in incident cardiovascular disease events compared with those completing fewer than 10 push-ups," the authors of the study said. The report, published in the journal, also notes that more research is necessary before the findings can be generalized across the board and applied to men who are less active and to women.