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A new study highlights the benefits of supplementing weight-loss surgery with regular exercise.

A new study highlights the benefits of supplementing weight-loss surgery with regular exercise.

While a well-rounded diet and regular exercise regimen are often touted as the keys to a healthy weight, oftentimes they simply aren't enough. In many cases, physiological factors other than poor eating habits or sedentary lifestyles may be to blame for excessive weight gain, making weight-loss surgery a necessity. But surgery isn't an end-all, be-all solution either, and new research points to how supplementing these procedures with working out regularly can help facilitate even more health benefits.

A team of researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Translation Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes in Florida evaluated 119 people who had undergone weight-loss surgery and split them into two groups. One of these groups was tasked with 120 minutes of moderate, weekly exercising in addition to enrollment in educational classes that taught nutrition, proper medication use and upper-body stretching, among other topics. The second group was only assigned the classes and none of the work-outs.

By the end of the 24-week study period, patients in the first group demonstrated significant improvements in insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism compared to those in the latter group, of which low levels are considered risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the group that had followed their weight-loss procedures with their new exercise routine exhibited improved circulatory and respiratory functions, cutting down their likelihood of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.

"Importantly, our study showed that aerobic exercise is feasible in this population — a result that directly counters the perception that severely obese individuals cannot respond to lifestyle interventions," Bret Goodpaster, the study's lead researcher, said in an official statement. "Moreover, we have identified specific, non-weight-related health benefits that exercise confers on these individuals. We look forward to additional studies to determine the optimal amount and type of exercise that produces the best physiological results."

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