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Women are half as likely to get enough exercise as men, study shows

pretty girl with a pink dumbbell

Oh, have you heard? According to a new study, women choose to break a sweat only half as often as men. Just what we need to learn on top of the raging war on women by our potential Republican presidential candidates, and the repeal of equal pay for equal work in Wisconsin.

The study results showed that women are less likely than men to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Approximately 1,000 men and women participated in the study women who participated in the study (published last month in the journal Preventative Medicine) did 18 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day, while the men did 30 minutes per day. All participants wore a device called an accelerometer around their waist to keep track of movement for four days minimum. Those who participated in the study and did not work out for at least 30 minutes a day were at increased risk of metabolic syndrome – in other words, a host of symptoms tied to cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and lower levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol.

While the female participants had healthier behavior than their male counterparts (such as being less likely to smoke) the lack of physical activity still put them at risk for metabolic syndrome. One weakness of the study is that it did not address why women exercised less than men, though researchers noted that childhood patterns of activity typically follow you throughout adulthood.

My coworkers think I’m some kind of superwoman for cranking out, on average, six miles a day (~55 minutes), five days a week. I tend to brush it off because, hello, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines recommend five hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week for greater health benefits for adults ages 18-65.

I guess you could say I’m a bit anal about hitting my weekly mileage and rounding out on an even number. If I hit less than my 30, you can bet I’ll be making up a couple of miles the following week. Also, if Boyfriend has us do 7.5 miles like we did last Sunday, I’ll run X.5 the next day to round it out. It tends to irk me when I see someone post, say, 2.75 miles on DailyMile. Come on; why not just finish your third mile?!

Still maintaining that you don’t have the time to work out? Try your hardest to make it happen in the morning (especially if you don’t have to be in the office before 9 a.m.) so that you won’t have it looming over your head all day. At the very least, make an effort to fit in “mini-workouts” like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking a walk while on the phone.


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By: Emilia Benton

Emilia Benton received her degree in print journalism with dual minors in Spanish and women’s studies from Hofstra University in New York. After spending two years working for magazines such as Glamour and Fast Company, as well as medical trade publications at Wolters Kluwer Health, she recently moved back to her hometown of Houston, where she currently works as a grant administrator at Baylor College of Medicine. She lives for long distance running (she recently completed her third marathon) and loves traveling, country music and all things ‘80s. Fun fact: She shares her Valentine’s Day birthday with her identical twin sister, Carla.