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Fun Time: Men Need More Exercise than Women

Compiled/ partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/ partly written by Melvin Durai
April 2024
Fun Time: Men Need More Exercise than Women

Here’s some good news for women: you need to exercise about half as long as men do to realize the same health benefits. That’s what a scientific study has shown. So if you happen to be living with a man, make sure you get him to do most of the work around the house. Keep him moving. Tell him it’s because you care about him.

Husband: “Hey, why did you switch channels?”

Wife: “It’s my turn to watch TV. From now on, I’m going to watch TV twice as much as you do.”

Husband: “Why’s that?”

Wife: “Because you need twice as much exercise as I do. Which reminds

me: when was the last time you did any mopping?”

For the scientific study, researchers focused on aerobic activity and strength training—so household cleaning qualifies only if you keep moving non-stop for a few minutes, and periodically lift the refrigerator to clean under it.

The study, based on data from more than 400,000 adults aged 27-61, found that women needed only 140 minutes (under 2.5 hours) of moderate aerobic activity per week to reduce their risk of premature death by 18 percent. Men needed 300 minutes for the same health benefit. With vigorous exercise, women needed just 57 minutes per week to reduce their risk by 19 percent, while men needed 110 minutes!

It’s important to get the word out about this. I especially want to get the word out to all the women at my gym who are hogging the treadmills. Men should get priority on all the treadmills!

The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. My gym, unfortunately, does not subscribe to this journal. I’ll have to forward the results to the manager, recommending that she display the following sign prominently: “Attention, ladies! if you see a man walking toward an exercise machine, please step aside. He needs it more than you do.”

It’s not just the cardio machines. Men need more of the strength-training ones as well. Indeed, the study found that three weekly sessions of muscle strengthening exercise gave men their greatest mortality benefit, reducing their risk of early death from all causes by 14 percent. But what did women need to do to get the same benefit? Just one session per week!

What’s more, men who did strength training reduced their risk of a cardiovascular-related death by 11 percent, whereas women reduced their risk by a whopping 30 percent!

Men, as you can imagine, are not too thrilled about these findings.

Thirty-something man: “Did you hear that men need exercise more than women?”

Male friend: “That can’t be true. I definitely need women more than exercise.”

Man: “No, I mean, men need to exercise more. I need to exercise twice as much as my wife to get the same health benefits. That’s so unfair!”

Friend: “Would you like to trade places with her?”

Man: “Yes, definitely. In a second.”

Friend: “What about childbirth?”

Man: “Forget about it then—I’d rather exercise more.”

The results of the scientific study can be seen in two ways, of course. It’s not just about men having to exercise more than women, it’s also about women gaining significant health benefits by just exercising a little.

“Even a limited amount of regular exercise can provide a major benefit, and it turns out this is especially true for women,” said Dr. Susan Cheng, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, and co-author of the study.

That’s truly good news for women. Just remember, ladies: you don’t need to spend an eternity on the treadmill.

More of ChaiTime here: 


Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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