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There are definite differences in the ways that men’s and women’s bodies respond to exercise. Even so, one of the most under-reported areas of research has to do with women and fitness. Now, the European Society of Cardiology has taken a hard look at the effects of ongoing, regular exercise on women’s bodies, health and longevity.

A new study from the organization shows that exercise based on fast walking is significantly associated with lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. The study included 4,714 adult women referred for treadmill exercise echocardiography (the use of ultrasound waves to investigate the action of the heart) because of known or suspected coronary artery disease.

The results: The annual rate of death from cardiovascular disease was nearly four times higher in women with poor, compared to good, exercise capacity. Annual cancer deaths were doubled in patients with poor, compared to good, exercise capacity.  The annual rate of death from other causes was more than four times higher in those with poor, compared to good, exercise capacity.

Study participants were middle aged or older women: the average age was 64 and 80 percent were between 50 and 75. The results were the same for women over 60 and less than 60 although the group under 50 was small.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control supports the findings of the European study. The CDC reports that physical activity reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes. The CDC further reports that exercise helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, and may enhance the positive effects of estrogen replacement therapy. And there is more: Exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being. It can also help reduce blood pressure in some women with hypertension.

As our regular readers know, we often suggest strength training for older adults. Strength training, including resistance training (such as that offered at Strength Science Studios) has also been shown to increase the quality of sleep, aid in bone density, improve metabolism, alleviate depression and enhance the overall quality of life.

 At Strength Science Studios professional trainers work with clients one-on-one every week. The program requires only once-a-week attendance for a 30-minute session. The facility and the program focus heavily on men and women age 50 and older, although everyone is welcome.

Come by Strength Science Studios at 730 Bluebonnet Blvd Suite 7 and let us introduce you to the program. If you would like to make an appointment for a free consultation, please call (225)  256-3000. 

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