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Exercise beneficial for overall health, even without weight loss, says expert

Do you stop working out if there is no weight loss? You may be wrong, as exercise is beneficial for overall health, even if it does not help you lose weight, according to a top neurologist.

Sudhir Kumar from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said this, citing a recent study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Led by researchers from Harvard University in the US, the study demonstrated that physical activity is beneficial to many critical markers, independent of weight loss, among obese adults.

“If exercise does not lead to weight loss, is it worthless? The answer is NO,” Sudhir said on X.com. The Hyderabad-based neurologist said that some people who consult him report a lack of significant weight loss despite exercising.

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“They lose hope and want to quit exercising. My advice to them is to not give up and continue exercising,” he said. “A desire to lose weight is one of the main motivators for people to exercise, but it should not be the sole aim of exercising,” the doctor added.

Further, he explained that some of the health-related benefits associated with regular exercise (irrespective of weight loss) include “increased insulin sensitivity, lowering of blood pressure, HbA1C, serum triglycerides, increase in HDL or good cholesterol, improvement in sleep quality and quantity, depressive symptoms, lower risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 Max), and muscle mass and muscle strength.”

“These result in lower risk of premature mortality, lesser healthcare-related expenditure, and increase in healthy lifespan,” Sudhir said. “Do not stop exercising if weight loss is not seen. A healthy diet (carbohydrate restriction) plays a significant role in weight loss,” he said.

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