Women May Get a Bigger Longevity Boost From Exercise Than Men
Kelyn Soong - The Washington Post
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March 7, 2024

It’s well-established that exercise can help you live a longer and healthier life. Now, a new study suggests that women may require less exercise to get similar longevity benefits as men.

The finding is striking because physical activity guidelines for American adults are the same for men and women. But partially because of differences in size, muscle mass and lean body mass, it appears that women can make big gains in longevity while doing about half the exercise men need to do to get the same benefit.

The Facts:

  • For men, the peak “survival benefit” comes with 300 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise. When men exercise this much, they had an overall 18 percent lower risk of dying than inactive men.

  • Women only have to exercise 140 minutes a week to lower mortality risk by 18 percent. If women exercise 300 minutes a week, they lower their risk by 24 percent.

  • Men got the most benefit if they did three sessions a week of muscle strengthening activity compared with women, who got equivalent benefit from one muscle strengthening session a week.

  • In the United States, only about a quarter of adults have met the recommended physical activity guidelines of at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and two muscle-strengthening activities a week, with men more likely than women to meet the recommendations across all age groups.

“Being physically active matters, and it seems to influence overall survival,” said Martha Gulati, the director of preventive cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai and a co-author of the study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “But small amounts can go a long way, and in fact, for women, smaller amounts can go a longer way than they can for men.”

Read the rest at The Washington Post

Related: All That Is True About Aging Is Illuminated on a Walk (The Washington Post)

Related: Exercises for a Healthy Heart (WebMD)

Related: Our 7 Best Tips to Build an Exercise Habit (The Washington Post)

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