A combination of diet and exercise has come to be seen as the best way to achieve positive health outcomes for obese people, whose excess weight is often the reason for conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It appears, however, that certain exercises deliver different results in men and women, but women need to work harder to reap the same benefits.
These are the conclusions drawn by a research team from the University of Missouri (MU) after a recent study into the effects of certain exercises on obese people with Type 2 diabetes. The findings could prove helpful to healthcare providers and other researchers in the development of targeted fitness programmes for obese women.
Led by Professor Jill Kanaley of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, the MU research team selected 22 study subjects and monitored their cardiovascular responses after certain exercises. The results suggest that cardiovascular function in obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes may be influenced by gender, with women benefiting to a lesser extent than men in certain cases. While women did see some improvement after aerobic exercises, it was not as pronounced as that achieved by men. In addition, the walking programme produced no positive outcomes for women.
According to Kanaley, the findings suggest that obese women with Type 2 diabetes could benefit from exercising longer or at a more intensive rate. She also points out that more attention needs to be paid to the heart rate during exercising and the amount of time it takes for cardiovascular function to normalise after the work-out.