Are women fitter than men?

A new study shows that when women exercise, their body processes oxygen a lot faster than men’s. This indicates superior aerobic fitness, explain the researchers. In other words, women may be naturally fitter than men.
man and woman ready for running

But new research challenges the traditional belief that men are athletically superior to women. In fact, by measuring women’s response to aerobic training, a new study suggests that the opposite may be true.
The new study examined sex differences in the body’s response to aerobic fitness; more specifically, it focused on how sex affects the body’s ability to process oxygen once it starts to exercise.
Thomas Beltrame, from the University of Waterloo in Canada, led the research, and the findings were published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
 
Oxygen uptake is a standard measure of aerobic fitness, and it describes the amount of oxygen that the body can take in and use per minute.
As the American College of Sports Medicine explain, our oxygen consumption rate “provides a measure of the maximal ability to perform high-intensity aerobic work, [and] is strongly associated with performance and health.”
Therefore, a higher rate of oxygen processing means that women may be less prone to muscle fatigue and more likely to perform better athletically. They may also be more resilient, as higher oxygen processing also indicates a lower perception of physical effort.
“The findings are contrary to the popular assumption that men’s bodies are more naturally athletic,” Beltrame says.

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