Women need less exercise than men for same benefits; top heart health exercises | Health - Hindustan Times

Women need less exercise than men for same benefits, says study; here're top cardiovascular workouts for ladies

By, New Delhi
Feb 20, 2024 05:00 PM IST

Women may be getting more health benefits from their workouts compared to men, said a new research. Here's top cardiovascular workouts for ladies.

In a new study, researchers have found out that women may be getting more health benefits from their workouts compared to men. The study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that women can achieve the same 'survival benefit' as men with significantly less exercise. According to the research, women need just under 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week to reap the same rewards that men receive with five hours of physical activity. This means that women who engage in regular exercise could reduce their mortality risk by an impressive 24%, compared to 15% for men. (Also read | Pancreatic disease to inactive lifestyle; experts on possible causes of cardiac arrest in people over 50)

Heart-healthy exercises are important for women to maintain cardiovascular health and overall well-being. (Unsplash)
Heart-healthy exercises are important for women to maintain cardiovascular health and overall well-being. (Unsplash)

The study analysed health data from an extensive pool of 412,413 adults across the US, spanning from 1997 through 2019. By the end of the study period, 39,935 adults had passed away, with 11,670 of those deaths attributed to cardiovascular issues.

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The study also found out that when it comes to strength training, women reach their peak benefit from one session of muscle strengthening activities per week as opposed to men who need three such sessions for the same benefits per week.

Heart-healthy exercises for women

Heart-healthy exercises are important for women to maintain cardiovascular health and overall well-being. It's essential to engage in a combination of aerobic exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises.

Dr. V. Vinoth Kumar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, CARE Hospitals, HITEC City, Hyderabad shares some heart-healthy exercises for women:

1. Aerobic exercises

Brisk Walking: A simple yet effective aerobic exercise that is easy to incorporate into daily life.

Jogging or running: If you enjoy higher-intensity activities, jogging or running can be great for cardiovascular health.

Cycling: Riding a bike is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints.

Swimming: An excellent full-body workout that is easy on the joints.

2. Strength training

Bodyweight exercises: Include exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks to build strength using your own body weight.

Resistance training: Use resistance bands or free weights to increase muscle strength.

Weight machines: If available, use weight machines at the gym to target specific muscle groups.

3. Flexibility and stretching

Yoga: Combines physical postures, breath control, and meditation to improve flexibility and reduce stress.

Pilates: Focuses on core strength, flexibility, and overall muscle balance.

Stretching routines: Incorporate dynamic and static stretches to improve flexibility and prevent injury.

4. Interval training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT): Alternating between short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest. This can be effective for cardiovascular health and time efficiency.

5. Dancing

Zumba, aerobic dance, or dance classes: A fun way to get your heart rate up while enjoying music and socializing.

6. Mind-body exercises

Tai chi: Combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and meditation.

Qi Gong: Similar to Tai Chi, focuses on slow, gentle movements and breathing.

7. Cardio classes

Cardiovascular exercise classes: Participate in classes like spin, step aerobics, or cardio kickboxing for a structured and energetic workout.

8. Outdoor activities

Hiking, jogging trails, or nature walks: Engage in outdoor activities that provide both physical activity and the benefits of being in nature.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any existing health conditions. It's important to choose activities that you enjoy making it easier to stick to a regular exercise routine.

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