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Women may get a bigger longevity boost from exercise than men

Women only have to exercise 140 minutes a week to lower mortality risk by 18 percent. Photo: Pexels

(Kelyn Soong/ The Washington Post) — It’s well-established that exercise can help you live a longer and healthier life. Now, a new study suggests that women may require less exercise to get similar longevity benefits as men.

The finding is striking because physical activity guidelines for American adults are the same for men and women. But partially because of differences in size, muscle mass and lean body mass, it appears that women can make big gains in longevity while doing about half the exercise men need to do to get the same benefit.

“Being physically active matters, and it seems to influence overall survival,” said Martha Gulati, the director of preventive cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai and a co-author of the study, which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “But small amounts can go a long way, and in fact, for women, smaller amounts can go a longer way than they can for men.” (…)