Cis Women Can Work Out Less Than Cis Men and Still Have a Lower Risk of Dying

When it comes to exercise, less might actually be more. In a recent study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that cisgender women generally needed less exercise to reduce their risk of dying. Whereas cisgender men needed 300 minutes of weekly exercise to lower their chances of cardiovascular mortality by 18 percent, cis women only needed 140 minutes to see the same benefits (reducing their risk by 24 percent). Because the study only included cis men and cis women in its trials, it's difficult to generalize the findings for the greater population. Still, this comes as huge news for those who struggle to get themselves to the gym, suggesting that showing up really is half the battle.

Additional results indicated that longevity benefits peaked for both cis men and cis women at the 300 minute mark (translating to five hour-long sessions, if you're doing the math at home). These numbers were also consistent for aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise, which means multiple kinds of exercise look promising for longevity purposes. It's exciting to hear, but why has it taken us this long to figure out that people need different things from their workouts?

There's already a scarcity of credible exercise science for women who want to get stronger, live longer, and take control of their health. Online, women from all backgrounds commiserate over their exercise struggles, sharing ways to balance hormones and schedule strength training for better energy and more productive gains. Now, we're learning that cis women might not even need to be spending so much time in the gym in the first place.

Of course, longevity isn't the only worthwhile benefit of exercise. But the bottom line is that all people deserve more research to help make educated choices about their workouts. Until then, I'll take this as a win . . . and possibly an excuse to cut my next gym sesh in half.

Chandler Plante is an assistant editor for POPSUGAR Health & Fitness. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant for People magazine and contributed to Ladygunn, Millie, and Bustle Digital Group. In her free time, she overshares on the internet, creating content about chronic illness, beauty, and disability.