Physiological sex differences affect the integrative response to exercise: Acute and chronic implications

Ansdell, Paul, Thomas, Kevin, Hicks, Kirsty, Hunter, Sandra K., Howatson, Glyn and Goodall, Stuart (2020) Physiological sex differences affect the integrative response to exercise: Acute and chronic implications. Experimental Physiology. ISSN 0958-0670 (In Press)

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The anatomical and physiological differences between males and females are thought to determine differences in the limits of human performance. The notion of studying sex as a biological variable has recently been emphasized in the biosciences as a vital step in enhancing human health. In this review, we contend that the effects of biological sex on acute and chronic responses must be studied and accounted for when prescribing aerobic exercise, much like any intervention targeting the optimization of physiological function. Emerging evidence suggests that the response of physiological systems to exercise differs between males and females, potentially mediating the beneficial effects in healthy and clinical populations. We highlight evidence that integrative metabolic thresholds during exercise are influenced by phenotypical sex differences throughout many physiological systems. Furthermore, we discuss evidence that female skeletal muscle is more resistant to fatigue elicited by equivalent dosages of high‐intensity exercise. How the different acute responses affect the long‐term trainability of males and females is considered, with discussion about tailoring exercise to the characteristics of the individual presented within the context of biological sex. Finally, we highlight the influence of endogenous and exogenous sex hormones on physiological responses to exercise in females. Sex is one of many mediating influences on the outcomes of exercise, and with careful experimental designs, physiologists can advance the collective understanding of diversity in physiology and optimize outcomes for both sexes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: exercise, fatigue, sex, training
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 09:01
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2020 09:15

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