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Women generally have a longer life expectancy than men, a phenomenon often attributed to biological, behavioral, and lifestyle factors. Now, findings from a recent study demonstrate that women achieve greater benefits from equivalent amounts of moderate-to-vigorous activity than men do, reducing their risk of premature death from all causes by 24 percent.

Researchers asked more than 412,000 healthy men and women in the United States to provide information about their physical activities, including the frequency, duration, intensity, and type. Then, they looked for links between physical activity and the risk of premature death from all causes and cardiovascular disease.

They found that physical activity reduced the risk of premature death from all causes in women by 24 percent and men by 15 percent compared to inactivity. Interestingly, the reduction in risk seen in men topped out at 19 percent, achieved at about 300 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous activity. Women, on the other hand, achieved the same risk reduction at just 140 minutes per week, topping out at 24 percent at 300 minutes. They found similar effects for aerobic and strength training activities, with men reaching their peak benefit from three roughly half-hour sessions per week and women gaining the same benefit from about one strength-training session per week.

These findings suggest that women can achieve substantial health benefits with shorter workouts than men. They also serve as a powerful encouragement, underscoring how limited time for physical activity can lead to considerable health advantages for women. Learn how to incorporate strength training into your workouts, maximizing your efforts in less time, in this clip featuring Dr. Brad Schoenfeld.

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