Ladies, get ready because now you have science to back up your bragging rights: Studies show that women can exercise for longer periods of time than men before getting fatigued, reported by a recent scientific review. It’s not because women are stronger; men are usually more powerful in comparison to fit women. Here’s the kicker: Women’s’ muscles tend to be resistant to fatigue than men’s, which in result means they can perform at a relatively same intensity for longer period of times.
The new paper, published in the journal for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, shows a huge problem in the scientific community: A number of studies on performance and physical activity are usually only done with men. Exercise routines designed for optimal results in men may not be the same for women, shows multiple studies that involve both genders.
“So if men and women fatigue differently, they should be treated differently,” explains study author Sandra Hunter, PhD, associate professor of exercise science at Marquette University.
Research has displayed, for example, that women retain more strength in their legs after running a marathon or cycling over a long duration of time. Other tests, women have been able to hold isometric contractions for longer periods of time than men, when performed at the same percentage of their maximum strength.
“They’re important for holding us up, for instance, while we’re standing of sitting upright, women can essentially do them longer than men.”
Women burn more fat and fewer carbohydrates than men during sustained exercise, “which sets them up to perform, potentially for longer periods of time, if they’re going at the same intensity as men,” Hunter continued.
“The first person to swim from Cuba to Florida was a woman.” So does that indicate we can say women the tougher sex? “It’s very tempting to say that, isn’t it?” Hunter says.
Studies do prove that women have an advantage when it comes to fatigability. Significant milestones have been made in the last 20 years, and women are most certainly bettered represented now than they previously were in both in real-world athletic events and scientific studies.
“But for many years those differences have been overestimated because we haven’t had the best genetic pool of women competing against the best genetic pool of men.” Hunter is optimistic these performance gaps will continue to narrow as women’s sports programs stride and continue to improve. “If we can give women care that’s tailored to them, “she added, “We can really help them reach their full potential.”