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Women are not little men…

“Women are not little men…” Martha Gulati, MD, MS

It’s surprising that we needed a study to remind us, but thanks to the work of Martha Gulati, MD, MS; Leslee J. Shaw, PhD; Ronald A. Thisted, PhD; Henry R. Black, MD; C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD; and Morton F. Arnsdorf, MD, women are now better informed regarding their cardiovascular exercise intensity. Heart rate range guidelines used for women throughout the health and fitness industry are being questioned. In part, because they were based on studies performed solely on men. The good news for the ladies: cardio doesn’t have to be as hard as we thought. The challenging news: you may have to change your behavior. Generally speaking, women need to be monitoring how hard they are working when elevating their heart rate during cardiovascular exercise. The study has found that working too intensely can actually hurt your heart health as well as limiting the previously accepted benefits.

I am not suggesting you eliminate cardiovascular exercise (sorry to disappoint). I am suggesting you purchase an inexpensive heart rate monitor (or take a ten second count) and learn more about the heart rate range appropriate for your age, fitness levels and goals. The recommendations encourage women to take it down a notch and I couldn’t be more in agreement. “Less is more” is a win-win for both heart health and body fat loss. Please call to let me know if you’d like help implementing these new guidelines. Call 773-680-6824.

To read the American Heart Association summary of the study please visit:  Circulation, The St James Women Take Heart Project

Have a “‘Less is more’ cardio success story” of your own? I’d love to hear it… connect with me at

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