Is a man more fit than a woman, or vice versa?
(Part 2 of 2)
By: Marylin Salgado
Welcome back to part 2 of my 2-part blog series, in which the differences between men and women and how their body composition and build are explained. Can this difference make them more or less fit than the other?
Men’s body composition vs. Women
By nature, men have a higher bone structure, stronger connective tissue and larger muscle density than women, even if the man is suffering from low testosterone. This is why some women who want to gain muscle take testosterone replacement.
Women also have naturally higher percentages in non-essential body fat. This fat is the kind that your body doesn’t need to function, but it’s the kind your body stores for energy should you go long hours or days without eating. This non-essential fat also helps insulate and protect the body.
Women store 10 to 15 percent of this non-essential body fat, whereas men store about 2 to 5 percent. To add to this, men have more lean mass and women have more fat mass. Men are more likely to accumulate fatty tissue around the trunk and belly, where women are more likely to accumulate fat around the hips and thighs. This is because men are genetically made to work hard and hunt and gather. Women are genetically made to bear children and provide a nurturing environment for their family.
In a 2018 article from Medical News Today, it was noted that the average height and weight for men was not simply defined, as the study was broken down between age groups and height and weights within those groups. On average though, men’s height was about 69 inches with an average weight of 197 pounds. In a healthline article, it was noted that as of 2016, the average height for women was 63.7 inches, less than 5 feet 4 inches tall with an average weight of 170 pounds. I was unable to find more recent research for women, so it wouldn’t be fair to say that women are more out of shape than men since there is a two-year gap between studies.
Differences in exercise habits in both men and women
There are many reasons why people exercise. Not all exercise for health, although this should be the main reason why. Many people exercise for looks and vanity. Others do it for the passion to compete and lift and break records.
In an article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it was reported women who exercised on the regular by just adding low intensity workouts to their daily schedule, enjoyed higher self-esteem, quality of life, weight loss and improved appearance. On the other hand, men were reported to exercise for enjoyment, quality of life, and for social and competitive reasons.
There is no real need to compare the two. Women and Men are plain and simply built differently and will continue to be unless they modify themselves with hormone replacements and exercises that either enhance or diminish the look on some parts of their bodies. Either way, being more fit is not about looking good, but being healthy and living long, productive lives.
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