Lauren and Ben, a married couple from Raleigh, North Carolina, are Skyping™ in with a gender question for Dr. Oz.
A year ago, Lauren, a former college athlete, says she decided to take up long-distance running. After two months of tough training, Ben joined her for a 6-mile run. "In college, I was always exercising," she says. "He played golf—not the most active thing in the world."
To her surprise, Lauren says Ben was able to keep up the pace. "He was running beside me, no problems. Easy breathing, high stepping, talking, and I am huffing and puffing," she says. "I'm turning purple."
Lauren wants to know how her husband manages to run faster and farther with no training. Dr. Oz says Lauren's lungs are to blame. "It's not just that men have more muscle than women," he says. "If you look at the lungs of a female … they're smaller, proportionally, in a woman than a male. The reason that's an issue is there are economies of scale. The bigger the lung is, the more it can ramp up."
A woman's breathing tube, which carries air to the lungs, also responds more slowly. "You waste a lot more energy. It's not as efficient when you work out," Dr. Oz says. "Men tend to start off with a significant advantage."
On the plus side, Dr. Oz says when women get in shape, their bodies experience big changes. The changes in men are much smaller.