As if there weren’t already enough benefits to exercise — increased energy, improved mood, a better love life, help against chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, better sleep and weight loss — you may be able to add fewer colds to the list of why exercise is a must-do.

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who are physically fit and active have fewer and milder colds. The study tracked 1,000 adults for 12 weeks. After taking account of other influential factors, the most significant factors were perceived fitness and exercise levels.

At least 20 minutes per workout session, five or more days a week – rises above all other lifestyle factors in lowering sick days. Exercise works because each time you workout, it sparks a temporary rise in immune system cells circulating around the body. Although these levels fall back within a few hours, they help the body mobilize its forces against viruses and bacteria.

Regularly working out also helps you to maintain a healthy lifestyle with adequate rest, a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and fiber, and a positive outlook. Best of all, whichever exercise you choose, Zumba, Pilates, yoga, water aerobics, aero Pilates, cycling, or TRX Training, your immune system will give it positive reviews.

Despite the glowing reviews and irrefutable benefits of exercise you may be struggling to incorporate it into your already busy life. Here are some tips from Future Fitness that may help:

• Give it 30-days. Whether it’s flossing your teeth or working out at your health & fitness club, you need 30 days to fully incorporate a new activity into your lifestyle.
• Set goals for yourself. Make your gym workout goals reasonable and measurable in weeks or a few months.
• Get a buddy. Even if you prefer working out alone at your fitness center, have a health & fitness partner to keep you on track and celebrate your successes.
• Shake it up. If you’ve been doing circuit training, try a Pilates reformer class. If you been taking steps aerobics, try water aerobics.
• Be patient. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. But with regular visits to your health club you can, and will, reach your goals.
– Future Fitness Report