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The Differing Needs of Women’s and Men’s Fitness

women's vs. men's fitness needsThe differences and similarities between women’s and men’s fitness needs can be a bit surprising. On the one hand, there are substantial differences in hormone levels and what is perceived as a “fit body.” On the other hand, there is more in common than many realize, so many types of exercises can be shared.

The Key Differences

The levels of testosterone between women and men are dramatically different. This particular hormone plays a key role in “bulking up” muscles, making them larger and more powerful. Unless a female is taking a testosterone supplement, there will be little to no chance of getting huge muscles.

The amount of body fat is typically larger in women than in men, and a woman’s body typically wants to hold onto that fat for childbearing purposes. So getting rid of that fat can be more challenging for women, and their BMI percent can be higher because of this.

Additionally, women are typically more flexible than men, which can be a great benefit with many sports. Stretching and yoga can help to improve flexibility.

More Similarities

Outside of the two key differences, women’s and men’s fitness needs are virtually the same. Most people want lean and toned bodies, and the types of exercises to achieve those goals are identical. While women may elect to stay with lighter weights and more repetitions, men may go for heavier weights and fewer reps. In any case, there is no reason to be apprehensive about picking up some weights and performing muscle building exercises. This will be good for your body to promote longevity, stamina, and long lasting strength, regardless of your gender.

Shared Exercises

The following are just a few exercises that meet both women’s and men’s fitness needs:

  • Cardio – getting the heart pumping is good for anyone at any age and any gender. Spending a slice of your workout time on cardio is a good part of any routine. Cardio can include running a particular route, cycling, elliptical, treadmill, jumping jacks or other types of exercises that stimulate the heart muscle.
  • Upper body – improving upper body strength will help posture and help to reduce the dangling fatty tissue on the arms. Push-ups and pull-ups are both very common upper body exercises. You can also incorporate weights to improve strength and tone muscles in the arms and shoulders. Chest exercises can help to keep the upper body firm.
  • Lower body – the legs are the largest muscle group. A good leg routine can help the entire body while also focusing on these important muscles. Squats, lunges, and stair climbers will all help leg muscles while also helping knees, ankles, and hip flexors to stay strong and reduce the chances of injury.
  • Abdomen and back – the mid-section of the body can be the most difficult to tone. But a combination of sit-ups and weights with different exercises can greatly help to have a firm belly while strengthening the back muscles.

Staying Healthy

Regardless of the exercise regimen, women and men can both benefit from many of the same routines. Everyone progresses differently, and safety is always important. Be sure also to pay attention to nutrition needs and recovery techniques in whatever workout program you choose.