According to a recent study, among older adults, males and females are apparently not the same when it comes to the results of high-intensity exercise.

The study, “High Intensity Training Increases Mitochondrial Respiratory Capacity in old Males But Not Females,” suggests that high-intensity exercise delivers results for older men but not for older women.

A media release from the American Physiological Society notes that Steen Larsen, PhD, from the University of Copenhagen—one of the study’s authors—will present the study at an upcoming APS conference.

High-intensity exercise can have a positive effect on a person’s maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) capacity, the pathway that cells use to metabolize energy, the release explains. However, the release notes, studies on these regimens have focused on younger participants.

University of Copenhagen researchers, in their study, observed obese males and females, age 62 and older, to see whether these same benefits were the same for older people.

To do so, they assigned the participants a regimen of high-intensity exercise three times per week for 6 weeks. Each session included five 1-minute bursts of exercise performed at 125% of VO2max. OXPHOS was measured in the subjects’ muscle and abdominal fat, along with their VO2max, body composition, and several other metabolic measurements before and after the exercise regimens were performed, the release explains.

While the male participants increased their VO2max and OXPHOS in their muscles and reduced their body fat percentage by the end of the 6-week study period, no changes were seen in females, according to the release.

The researchers note, however, that the female OXPHOS capacity in abdominal fat was higher to begin with, and that more analysis is needed to explain the gender differences in the results, the release continues.

[Source(s): American Physiological Society, Newswise]