Women achieve the same benefits from exercise as men with less effort.

The benefits of exercise vary for men and women. The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), show that women, although less likely to exercise than men, in almost half of the cases, get greater cardiovascular benefits.

Women who exercise regularly have been shown to have a significantly lower risk of premature death or a fatal cardiovascular event than men who exercise regularly, even if they exert less effort.

The findings are based on a prospective analysis of data from more than 400,000 adults aged 27 to 61, showing that over two decades Women who did any type of exercise were 24% less likely to die from any cause than those who did no physical activity. However, the difference in men was only 15%.

Additionally, women had a 36% lower risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, compared with 14% for men.

“Historically and statistically, women have lagged behind men in participating in meaningful physical activity,” says Martha Gulati. is a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and a specialist in women’s cardiovascular diseases. “The good thing about this study is that women may get more out of every minute of moderate to vigorous activity than men. “This is an encouraging idea and we hope women will take it seriously.”

Theoretically, “a benefit on mortality risk was expected for people who regularly engage in some kind of physical activity compared with those who are sedentary,” says Susan Cheng, the study’s lead author. “Interestingly, the risk of mortality decreased by 24% in women and 15% in men.

The study looked at moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, and found that men achieved the greatest benefit by doing this level of exercise for about five hours a week, while women achieved the greatest benefit. 2.5 hours per week.

The same thing happened with strength training: men achieved maximum benefit by doing three sessions per week, while women only achieved about one session per week.

Women can get more out of every minute of moderate to vigorous activity than men.

Martha Gulati

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute

When translated into minutes, Gulati says, “men get the most benefit from exercise.” 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, while women get the same benefits by doing 140 minutes per week. Additionally, women continue to benefit if they reach 300 minutes per week.

The authors hope the data will encourage women who don’t currently engage in regular physical activity to realize that they can benefit greatly.

As for a possible explanation for these differences, the authors believe there are multiple factors, including differences in anatomy and physiology. For example, men tend to have a larger lung capacity, a larger heart, more lean body mass, and a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers compared to women.

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