A new USC fitness study shows men who maintain or improve activity can help overall fitness levels, even if they're not losing weight. Researchers studied over 14,000 men, averaging the age of 44 over a 6 year time period.

During that time they monitored their fitness levels and body mass index and then followed up with them for another 11 years to see how these factors impacted their long term health.

Researchers found out after the span of 11 years that those men even
though they did not cut off their weights, but actually sustained their
fitness level had about 30 percent decreased in their risk of dying
from certain cardiovascular diseases or from any other diseases. In
addition, those study participants who continued to sustain their
fitness level in 10 more years had 40 percent reduced healthy risk.

Among men who became active, about 80 percent of maintained or increased their fitness level.

Study author, author Duck-chul Lee, a physical
activity epidemiologist with the department of exercise science at the
University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health in
Columbia, said: “People need to [think] more about their fitness, and
not just their fitness but trying to improve or maintain their fitness
rather than focusing too much on weight loss or worrying too much about
weight gain.”

The new study was published in the journal Circulation.