Scientists performing experiments and doing research about exercise don’t normally list weight loss as one of the benefits of exercise. They do list weight maintenance as a benefit, which is related but not the same.

(But there is a way to lose weight through exercise. It requires having the right information and doing a precise amount of exercise. We describe that here.)

Excepting weight loss, there are very important health benefits that you can expect to receive from exercise. When comparing exercisers with non-exercisers, physiological differences have been observed. Those differences, along with a variety of physiological mechanisms, create a long list of exercise-related benefits.

Physiologic improvements from exercise

weight loss

Before we get to that list of benefits, let’s look at the physiological differences between exercisers and non-exercisers. In comparison to non-exercisers, exercisers have more:

  • Glycogen
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial volume
  • Resting adenosine triphosphate
  • Resting phosphorylated creatine
  • Aerobic enzymes
  • Stroke volume
  • Cardiac output

….and exercisers have lower:

  • Resting heart rate
  • Maximum heart rate
  • Body fat levels

Non-weight loss benefits

weight loss

The best thing about exercise is that it provides numerous health benefits. Some of the benefits pertain to the musculoskeletal system. Others benefit the pulmonary system. Exercise has even been shown to improve mental health. As long as the exerciser does a sufficient quantity of exercise, they can expect to receive the following benefits, according to the US Surgeon General:

  1. Small increases in muscle fiber thickness
  2. Increased capacity for blood flow in muscles
  3. Stronger muscles
  4. Small increases in bone mineral & mass
  5. Stronger ligaments & tendons
  6. Greatly enhanced oxygen-handling
  7. Increased capacity of skeletal muscle to store glycogen
  8. Improve ability to use fat as energy
  9. Ability to perform at a considerably higher rate of work
  10. Increased stroke volume (expelled more air during ventilation)
  11. Thicker heart-muscle fibers
  12. Decline in blood pressure
  13. Increases rate of pulmonary ventilation (faster intake & exchange of air in the lungs)
  14. Higher level of cardiorespiratory & muscular fitness
  15. Lower rates of mortality from all-causes.
  16. Lower rates of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, breast cancer and depression