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Obese women may not have same results from exercise as men

January 23rd, 2013

Obese individuals often experience accompanying health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems and are recommended ways to improve the health outcomes of obese individuals through diet and exercise. It has been found that certain exercises that benefit obese men may not have the same positive results for obese women and obese women with Type 2 diabetes might benefit from longer durations or higher intensities of exercise.In addition, more concern should be placed on how long it takes cardiovascular function to return to normal after exercise as well as how fast the heart beats during physical exertion. These new findings are a contribution to the One Health, One Medicine initiative of Mizzou Advantage.

Story by MU News Bureau

More than one-third of Americans are obese, and these individuals often experience accompanying health issues, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. In response to the so-called “obesity epidemic,” many medical professionals have suggested ways to improve the health outcomes of obese individuals through diet and exercise. Now, research conducted at the University of Missouri suggests certain exercises that benefit obese men may not have the same positive results for obese women. These findings could help health providers and researchers develop targeted exercise interventions for obese women.

“Our results indicate gender may contribute to differences in cardiovascular function of obese individuals with Type 2 diabetes,” said Jill Kanaley, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at MU. “Men saw improvement after aerobic exercise training, but the women did not experience the same benefits.”

Kanaley and her colleagues monitored cardiovascular responses, such as heart rate and blood pressure, of nearly 75 obese men and women with Type 2 diabetes. To monitor cardiovascular responses, the individuals completed an isometric handgrip test, which involves continually and forcefully squeezing an object for a few minutes, at the beginning and end of a structured, 16-week walking program. More…