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Physiological Differences Between Males and Females Term Paper

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Updated: Mar 26th, 2022

There are a number of physiological differences between the female young/middle-aged population and the male young/middle-aged population. Although the males have bigger muscles than the females, the latter have better blood flow during exercise, and use one hundred percent of the fibers in their muscles as compared to the former who use only eighty percent. In terms of energy metabolism, females generally utilize more percentage of fat as compared to males during exercise. This difference is because the estrogen hormone improves the mobilization of fat from fat reserves such that it is easily available for use during exercise.

Since males in general have a bigger and stronger heart, lungs, and more blood volume than females, they have a stronger cardiovascular and respiratory systems with increased capability of pumping blood faster and effectively. The males have a higher oxygen transport capacity and superior energy consumption capacity for fueling the skeletal muscles during exercise; thus, these attributes create in males an increased ability of consuming and processing oxygen, referred to as VO2max (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008, p.155). The VO2max is important in determining the level of endurance of someone during sustained physical activity. As a result, since males have a capacity that is about ten percent greater than the females, they do not get tired faster as their counterparts.

It is important to note that female young/middle-aged population and the male young/middle-aged population have identical muscle tissues. And, they tend to adapt in the same way to resistance physical training. Even though the women generally have fewer muscles, their muscles respond to progressive resistance training similarly. The majority of both males and females adapt to sustained physical activity by building tougher and slightly bigger muscles in the same way. When one is engaged in either aerobic or anaerobic training, several physiological adaptations are usually witnessed. However, males and females vary in their response to aerobic and anaerobic physical activity.

Because of the differences in VO2max, men generally adapt faster to training under such conditions and they exhibit the physiological changes must faster than their counterparts (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008, p.429). When exercising in the heat and cold, males and females regulate their body temperatures differently. In general, because females are better in conserving heat than males, in extreme environmental conditions they dissipate heat much slower. Females posses a much more evenly distributed fat layer than men for conserving heat in their bodies.

Investigations have revealed that maximal responses during training at altitudes are not significantly different between male and females. Nonetheless, after acclimatization, it has been observed that males tend to use more energy as an exercise fuel while females tend to oxidize less energy compared to utilization at sea level. In terms of training for sport, there is no much difference between men and women as both adapt at an almost equal rate. Although it has been noted that there is drastic difference in terms of nutritional considerations for male and females, it has been observed that females are unable to super-compensate (i.e., “carbo load”) muscle glycogen and that their menstrual states may affect glycogen storage.

For the target population, exercise is important in preventing various diseases such as diabetes and cancer, controlling weight, maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints, promoting psychological well-being, and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008, p.204).

Reference List

Wilmore, J. H., Costill, D. L., & Kenney, L. W. (2008). Physiology of sport and exercise. Champaign: Human Kinetics.

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