With the rise of obesity in the United States and across the world, people are constantly talking about losing weight. However, research has shown that your health isn't just about how fat you are, it's about how fit you are. This means that you can be fat and fit, and actually have lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes than a lean and unfit person.

How is this possible?

Is That Legal?

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The key word is fit. Fitness is your body's ability to do aerobic work — it isn't related to how much fat you have or how much you weigh.

Think about sumo wrestlers. They weigh an average of 326 pounds, but they spend several hours each day practicing their technique and exercising, aka they're fit.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men's fitness levels can influence health effects from obesity. The health benefits of being lean only apply to fit men. In fact, the study indicates that fit, obese men had a lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than unfit, lean men.

What does this mean for you?

Jocelyn Hsu

Exercise, and don't give up.

Your weight is not always an indicator of how fit or healthy you are. You could be over 200 pounds and still be healthier than the person who weighs 140 pounds. Just be sure to stay fit.

If you exercise (we're talking 20+ minutes of physical activity 3+ times a week, not 5 trips to the fridge), you'll get the benefits of being fit, regardless of your weight. Try these exercises you can do in your dorm room and add these additional, underrated exercises.

Don't stop running or going to the gym because you're not losing enough weight or other people look leaner and lighter than you. It's not about them. It's about you. Keep exercising so you are fit and healthy.