Some interesting (and unfortunate for us females) studies have found that women actually have to do about 20% more exercise than men in order to get the same benefits.
The University of Missouri put obese men and women on the same exercise regimen. The tested different factors, such as heart rate, blood pressure, weight and recovery time. Over 16 weeks all participants worked out at an effort of 65%. Even though everyone was exercising at the same effort, men reaped more benefits — they lost more weight and their recovery time improved. Women lost weight, but not as much, and their recovery time did not improve at all!
The study shows that men and women respond to the same exercise in different ways. One reason has to do with body composition. In general, men have more muscle than women. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means men burn more calories even at a resting state than women do. Men also, in general, have large hearts and more haemoglobin — which is especially important for carrying around oxygen during exercise.
There is also a hormonal difference between men and women which can affect the way we respond to exercise. Men have more testosterone and women have more estrogen. Testosterone builds muscle and burns fat. Estrogen causes fat storage, particularly around the thighs, butt and stomach for childbearing reasons. Women can boost up testosterone levels temporarily by engaging in weight bearing exercise — so lifting weights or doing functional fitness.
Personal or small group training can customize workout to you to make sure that you are doing the kind of exercise that will most benefit your body. At Optimal Body Balance, we believe functional fitness is the best way to burn fat, build muscle and maintain an excellent level of fitness. We have personal training, small group training and bootcamp options available. Contact us for more information!