Yes, yes we know: doing some form of sweaty exercise every day is immeasurably beneficial for your bodies – even a stroll around the block can strengthen our hearts, bones and muscles.

For many people, the idea that exercise helps them live longer is simply not enough motivation to do it (you can hear the cries now: “Who’d want to live that long anyway?”).

But what if science told you that exercise doesn’t just make you live longer – it actively slows down how quick you age?

This means far more than simply ironing out your wrinkles, because slowing down the aging process means you won’t succumb to horrible early diseases like diabetes and some cancers.

According to new research from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, elderly people who undertake less than 40 minutes of physical exercise – and who sit down for more than 10 hours a day – are biologically eight years older than they should be.