Exercise promotes weight loss by revving up your body to burn calories even after you've put away your sneakers. Right? Well, not for everybody. A new study in the journal Current Biology shows that for people with obesity, exercise reduces the amount of calories burned while at rest, making it tougher to lose weight. Not fair.

So, why bother with exercise? Dr. Michael Joyner, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and exercise physiologist, says that burning calories is only one part of the exercise picture. And that people should not give up, because the many health benefits of exercise far outweigh the potential frustration of slower weight loss from fewer calories burned.

"I would hate for anybody to not exercise because they were worried strictly about the calories," says Joyner.

He says exercise promotes good overall health and well-being.

  • Exercise makes your blood vessels healthier, lowering your risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • Exercise helps the nerves that control your heart and lungs work better, protecting you against arrhythmia.
  • Exercise reduces your risk of diabetes and may help with some control the disease if you already have it.
  • Exercise comes with psychological effects, such as improving mood, lowering stress and reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.
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Talk to your health care provider before you start an exercise plan to make sure it's safe and right for you. You can hear more from Joyner about the benefits of exercise in a longer, in-depth version of this podcast coming up Friday night, Sept. 10.

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For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.