Endurance Exercise for Men is Different Than It is for Women

Endurance Exercise for Men Ages Aorta

A new study recently released has revealed that endurance exercise for men isn’t the same as it is for women, and I have to say that this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to me.  Having been a personal trainer whose main client list is male, there is something pretty obvious that seems to pop up for me that my female trainer colleagues don’t seem to observe.

Endurance Exercise for Men Makes Us More Youthful

Over the length of my career, I’ve regularly noticed that when guys I’ve trained go from essentially sedentary to regularly active, their progress will take a kind of turn over time. It will build to a certain extent and then plateau – which they can beat, but it gets tougher. It’s like they’re fighting the body of an older person. The research I’ve read about endurance exercise for men has only underscored that.  It shows that male athletes participating in this type of workout are – on a vascular level – about a decade older than their chronological age.  When your heart and lungs are working that much worse, it’d be easy to feel that much older!

On the other hand, when I’ve talked to women personal trainers who typically train other women, that’s not the impact they’ve observed.  There is no “reverse fountain of youth” impact, as much as it does make a woman physically fitter overall (of course) and there are many mental health improvements noted.

The research backs this up, on a vascular health level, at least.  In the research, women who participate in endurance workouts didn’t show any difference between their vascular age and their chronological age.

As much as I wasn’t surprised based on anecdotal evidence I’ve seen throughout my career, that still baffles me! It just doesn’t make any sense to me that there would be such a difference, simply because one athlete was male, and the other was female.

To be clear, this was only in endurance exercise for men – marathon running, that sort of thing – not regular workouts like typical cardio, strength training, and flexibility/balance workouts.

The Research

The study I’m referring to was conducted by University College London (UCL) researchers and was presented at the recent British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference. What they found was that endurance exercise for men might have an aging impact on the vascular system, more specifically the aorta. Male endurance athletes were more likely to have a stiffer aorta. This places them at a higher risk of circulatory and heart diseases than their female counterparts at a similar age and fitness level.

Does this mean that I would recommend against endurance exercise for men? Not at all.  The research really hasn’t reached that point, and although I’ve seen guys work through challenges with their sport, I do not mean that they’re dropping from heart attacks all the time.

I’m sharing this research because it interested me. If you have concerns about whether your workout is appropriate for you, speak with your doctor. You’ll find the answers you need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.