Women Are Naturally Fitter Than Men, Study Says

Canadian researchers studying a small group of 18- to 30-year-olds with similar body mass index has discovered that women appear to be fitter when it comes to maximal aerobic power, Time reports. The experiment measured oxygen uptake during a treadmill exercise as an indicator of overall fitness. The study group was classified as “recreational exercisers;” researchers said they next want to study if the same results hold true for elite athletes.

Intriguing as this study is, the important point to stress is that fitness and oxygen levels throughout your body, including in your muscles, are essential to good health. Your skeletal muscle derives its energy from your mitochondria — the energy storehouse of your cells, responsible for the utilization of energy for all metabolic functions. Mitochondria make up, on average, about 1 percent to 2 percent of your skeletal muscle by volume, but this is generally enough to provide the needed energy for your daily movements.

I now believe one of the best exercises is something called the Nitric Oxide Dump. This exercise promotes mitochondrial health, as it forces your mitochondria to work harder. One of the side effects of mitochondria working harder is that they're making reactive oxygen species, or free radicals, which act as signaling molecules. One of the functions they signal is to make more mitochondria.

High intensity interval exercise (HIIT) and the similar high-intensity circuit training (HICT) can yield greater fitness benefits in less time compared to longer, low- or moderate-intensity workouts. In addition to promoting mitochondrial health, benefits include fat and weight loss; improved VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising) and decreased insulin resistance. HIIT is also great for all ages — even seniors can benefit from it.
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