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Women's day Sunday, Kiwi women fitter than men - ExerciseNZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Sunday is international women’s day and Exercise NZ says while globally New Zealand has a poor physical activity statistic rating, Kiwi women in many age groups beat men in terms of exercise stickability.

Women are more focused on fitness than men, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says with 54 percent of gym members being women and 60 percent of exercise professional people in the exercise industry being women.

"Exercising in traditional places such as the gym and classes, women not only have much higher membership uptake, but also take part in more activities per week," Beddie says.

"One area that does need work and something that ExerciseNZ and the government agency SportNZ agree on, is the drop off in physical activity levels among teenage girls.

"This is now happening earlier and more significantly than with boys. This is an area we need more focus on, as keeping active through teenage and young adult phases is critical to having a healthy and positive attitude towards moving one’s body."

International women’s day on March 8 was set up 107 years ago to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.

Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive. Beddie says women are naturally more fit than men, according to a Canadian study from the University of Waterloo.

The Waterloo study found women consistently outperformed men with around 30 per cent faster oxygen handling throughout the body, Beddie says.

"Oxygen uptake is a key indicator of fitness, and the women adjusted to the rate of exercise after 30 seconds, while men took 12 seconds longer, equating to a 30 per cent difference in oxygen processing - a direct advantage when it comes to fitness."

It didn't end there. The study's researchers found that the female participants were more efficient at transporting oxygen to muscle tissues throughout the body, proving that while muscle-ups may look good on Instagram, you're unlikely to be training as efficiently as the smarter sex.

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