Do Women Need Less Exercise Than Men?

A new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds that women may benefit more from the same amount of physical activity than men.

In simple terms, this article suggests that women may get more health benefits from exercise than men. This means that both men and women should exercise, but women might see bigger health improvements from their workouts. For example, a woman who exercises for 140 minutes a week might see the same health benefits as a man who exercises for 300 minutes a week.

Women need less exercise than men?

More details about this report:

woman exercisingThe study followed over 400,000 adults for up to 20 years, and found that both men and women who were physically active had a lower risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease than those who were inactive. Not surprising. However, women gained this benefit at lower levels of activity than men.

They found that women who engaged in regular leisure time physical activity, like walking, biking, or swimming, for at least 140 minutes a week had a 24% lower risk of death from all causes compared to inactive women. Men needed to do 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week to see the same benefit. Both men and women who did more activity continued to see their risk of death decrease, but the benefit leveled off at the higher amounts.

The researchers also looked at strength training activities, like weightlifting, and found that both men and women who did them at least twice a week had a lower risk of death compared to those who did none.

Why do women need less exercise than men?

The reasons for this difference are not fully understood, but the authors speculate that it may be due to physiological differences between men and women. They note that men tend to have more muscle mass than women, which could make them less efficient at using oxygen during exercise. This could mean that women experience greater health benefits from smaller amounts of activity.

Overall, the study suggests that even moderate amounts of physical activity can be very beneficial for your health, and that women may see these benefits at lower doses than men.

This is good news for everyone, but especially for women who may be short on time, or who find it challenging to fit in enough exercise. Even small amounts of activity can make a big difference in your health. So take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the store, or get up and take a stretch break every hour or so if you have a desk job. Every step counts!

And if you need help with maximizing your exercise – no matter how much or little time for workouts you have – our Nashville personal trainers and nutrition coaches are standing by ready to help you look and feel your best! Drop us a note and we’ll find a time to talk.