Women need half as much exercise as men

A new study shows that women only need to exercise half as much as men to get the same longevity benefits.
– The news for women is that a little goes a long way, says Martha Gulati, researcher and one of the study’s lead authors

The study published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology presents can be good news for women who struggle with finding motivation to hit the gym.

According to the researchers, men who do cardio for around 300 minutes each week run an 18 percent lower risk of dying prematurely, compared to inactive men. For women, however, only 140 minutes of pulse-raising training are required for equivalent results.

It is behind

When the researchers did a similar analysis regarding strength training, they found the same pattern. For women, a single session of weight training per week was associated with similar longevity benefits as three sessions per week for men.

Martha Gulati, researcher and one of the study’s lead authors, explains that it has to do with the fact that women tend to have less muscle mass than men.

– If women do the same amount of strengthening exercises, they may have greater benefits with smaller doses just based on the fact that they don’t have as much to begin with, she tells Time.

20 years of statistics

The study is based on self-reported statistics on exercise habits from more than 400,000 American adults, analyzed from 1997 to 2017.

Approximately 40,000 of the participants died during the study period. The researchers were therefore able to look for patterns in the data but stress that it is possible that exercise did not make people live longer – but rather that active people in the study were healthier overall or had other lifestyle habits that increased lifespan.

The researcher: “Has used men as the standard”

Martha Gulati believes that more research is needed in the area, but emphasizes that the study gives a clear signal that “women are not just little men”. She also states that gender-based differences must be introduced both in research and in public health policy.

– For years we have used men as the standard, even when it might not have been correct to do so, says the researcher.

However, she believes that the study is not meant to be discouraging for men, but rather points out that people of both sexes benefit from even a little activity, as just a few minutes of movement per day can increase lifespan.

– Sit less and move more.