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Featured Profile: Jill Kanaley

Jill Kanaley

University of Missouri researcher Dr. Jill Kanaley found that men and women might not benefit in a similar manner from the same workout.

To help combat rising obesity rates, many medical professionals have prescribed diet and exercise. Recent research by Kanaley and her colleagues found that exercise training may not benefit men and women similarly.

The group conducted a study using 22 obese male and female individuals during a 16-week period. The results indicated gender might contribute to differences in cardiovascular function – men saw improvement after aerobic exercise, but the women did not experience the same benefits.

“This is a concern because there are high mortality rates with individuals with Type 2 diabetes, especially for women,” says Kanaley. “We’re trying to find successful interventions to help these individuals, and we keep assuming that exercise will do the trick – we think when we tell people to ‘go train,’ regardless of gender, everyone will get the same results. Our research indicates certain exercises may not be enough for women.”

Kanaley says that obese women with Type 2 diabetes might benefit from longer durations or higher intensities of exercise. She also said that these women should carefully watch how fast their heart beats during physical exertion as well as how long it takes for their heart rate to return to normal following exercise.

Dr. Jill Kanaley is a professor and associate chair for the interdisciplinary Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology which spans the School of Medicine and the Colleges of Human Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine