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Women Can Extend Lifespan with Less Exercise Than Men: Study

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Women Can Extend Lifespan with Less Exercise Than Men: Study

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that women can achieve significant longevity benefits with half the amount of exercise required for men.

According to the findings, as little as 140 minutes of weekly exercise can significantly lower the risk of death for women, whereas men need approximately 300 minutes per week to achieve the same results.

Study co-author Dr. Martha Gulati, director of preventive cardiology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, emphasized the impact of even modest physical activity on women’s health. “For me, the news to women is: a little goes a long way,” she told Time magazine.

The study analyzed the self-reported exercise habits of more than 400,000 adults who participated in the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2017.

“For years, we’ve used men as the standard,” Gulati told Time magazine. However, she added, “Women are not just small men.” 

Men who engaged in around 300 minutes of weekly aerobic exercise had an 18% lower risk of dying, while women who achieved only 140 minutes saw an equivalent benefit, with their risk of death reduced by 24%.

However, for both men and women, the study found that longevity benefits plateaued beyond 300 minutes of weekly exercise.

The research underscores the importance of tailoring exercise recommendations to individuals, particularly women, who have often been measured against standards set by studies focused on men. “For years, we’ve used men as the standard,” Dr. Gulati said, pointing out the need for personalized care.

The study’s release coincides with American Heart Month, a time when raising awareness of heart disease, the top threat to women’s health, is crucial.

Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver, stressed the significance of physical activity.

“If I said to a patient, ‘Hey, I have a medicine that can prevent heart disease, heart attacks, cancer, memory loss, and improve your mood,’ people would be clamoring for it,” he told CNN. “The truth is, it exists. It’s just not in pill form – it’s sweat equity.”

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