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Health Information Importance of Vigorous Exercise for Women

Exercise Study for Women Stresses Vigorous Activity

Is what’s good for the goose really good for the gander? Not necessarily. Current exercise guidelines and standards are primarily based on data from men only. In a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind study, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, studied more than 5,700 healthy women to determine their fitness levels relative to age and lifestyle.

“We found that even if men and women exercise the same amount, the impact on their health can be quite different,” says Henry R. Black, MD, an internationally recognized expert on hypertension at Rush and one of the study’s authors.

The researchers found that women who score less than 85 percent of their age-predicted exercise capacity on an exercise stress test have twice the risk for serious heart problems and death. While more research still needs to be done, the findings will certainly lead to new standards and guidelines for women’s exercise capacity, says Black.

In the meantime, women should continue to be physically active for their heart’s sake — with an emphasis on vigorous activity to achieve or maintain appropriate fitness levels as they age.

For more information about preventive medicine in cardiology services at Rush, visit the Preventive Cardiology Center home page.

For more information about preventive medicine services at Rush, visit the Preventive Medicine home page.

For more information about services and care for women at Rush, visit the Women’s Health Services home page.

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