Do Women Need Different Exercise Than Men?

As reproductive health remains a key issue in the 2024 US presidential election, a recent executive order signed by President Joe Biden to improve women’s health researchgrabbed headlines. The March 18 directive is notable for its aim to integrate women’s health across federal agencies and drive new research. The timing could not be better.

For centuries, medical researchers have exclusively studied men, downplaying or outright ignoring sex differences and extrapolating their findings to women. However, women are not physiologically the same as men — marked most plainly with the onset of menstruation atfemale puberty and two X chromosomes — and thus have often been given incomplete, poor and even harmful medical advice.

This long-standing lack of female-based research stemming from sex and gender biasspurred Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, to devote her career to determining how women should be eating and exercising for optimal health. “If we work with our physiology knowing that women are women and men are men, knowing that women are not small men, then imagine the (health) outcomes,” she said at a 2019 TED talk.

Excerpted from KAKE ABC

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