Exercise makes us feel happier and healthier. It’s a fact and it’s backed by science too. Furthermore, enjoying a regular exercise schedule makes us more capable of coping with stress, tension, anxiety and pressure. And, it can help to prevent all manner of ailments, illnesses and diseases too.

Beating obesity, reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, improving insomnia, helping to prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer, and supporting your body’s immune system so it is better prepared to fight off seasonal ailments are just some of the benefits to be enjoyed from regular physical activity.

So with winter well underway, now’s the time to shake a leg and give your motivation levels a boost – especially if you want to steer clear of the seasonal sniffles and keep the sick days at bay. Let’s take a closer look:

1. For a start, even the NHS is in agreement with claims that exercise boasts healing properties and can help to reduce your risk of major illnesses, as well as helping to ward off minor ailments such as cough and cold bugs.

2. It may seem obvious, but exercise combined with a sensible and nutritious diet will ensure you maintain a healthy weight. A lack of physical activity and exercise can lead to weight gain and, eventually, obesity as you are consuming more calories than your body actually needs or can use in a 24-hour period. Putting too many calories in and not burning enough calories off leads to the balance being converted to fat. Obesity is linked to a whole array of nasty medical concerns so maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to your overall wellbeing.

3. As a result of not exercising, your metabolic rate will slow. A slow metabolism is directly linked to high cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the NHS has reported that a lack of activity is as ‘deadly as smoking’. We are all guilty of leading exceedingly sedentary lifestyles as office jobs, daily commutes and relaxation time involves excessive amounts of sitting down.

4. Exercising regularly at a moderate level, and including a mixture of both cardio and resistance training in your workouts, is proven to help increase your body’s bone mineral density. This means that you will have stronger and healthier bones, as well as a reduced chance of developing osteoporosis. Furthermore, increased bone density can also help to slow down bone degeneration as we age.

5. When we experience stress our sleep can become disturbed. Exercise is a universal panacea as it helps our bodies to relax and unwind, our minds to clear and calm, and as a result our sleep improves. However, it’s important not to exercise too late in the day as this can increase adrenalin levels which will stimulate your body.