If you’re looking for a new way of staying in shape, boxing could be the answer.

While on the surface, a brutal and difficult looking sport, in reality, the sculpting, co-ordination and stamina required to box could benefit us all.

Health clubs up and down the country offer boxercise and box fit classes for beginners, while boxing gyms also run classes for all abilities and age groups.

Here, we look at the top reasons to begin boxing…

1. Boxing is a total body workout

When you box, you put your whole body to the test; arms, legs, shoulders and back are all put through their paces, burning from 300-500 calories an hour from the activity. Not only that, but all the ducking and diving is an excellent workout for your core, while the stamina required and increased heart rate helps keep your ticker healthy too.

[Read more: Behind the scenes with Nicola Adams]

2. A workout for the mind

Having to anticipate your opponent’s next move (or co-ordinate your moves) focuses the mind. Nothing sharpens concentration more than the prospect of a thwack to the body.

3. Boxing releases pent-up aggression

Been cut up by an arrogant driver on your way to work? Had someone push in while you were waiting in the supermarket? Boxing can help. The sport is all about staying in control, keeping your cool and using negative emotions to power your next move. Plus, the endorphin rush after a session will help you feel good.

4. Anyone can box

You don’t have to be the next Nicola Adams or Amir Khan. There’s a boxing workout for everyone, regardless of age or ability. While it does require some stamina, classes gradually build up strength and know-how, so you can start as small as you like.

5. Boxing builds self-confidence

Feeling in control of your body, and knowing you can protect yourself, can do wonders for self-esteem.

[Read more: What is HIIT training? 5 simple high intensity workouts for beginners]

5. Boxing can give you better co-ordination

Having mere split seconds to guess your opponent’s next move will help hone your reflexes and hand-eye co-ordination. Even classes that focus on solo work will test reflexes.

6. Boxing tones your body

Rather than add muscle, boxing tones what you have, making sculpted arms and a trimmer tum a real possibility.

7. You can box anywhere

If you enjoy it, investing in a pair of pads and gloves means you can work out wherever and whenever is convenient.

Would you try boxing to keep fit? Tell us in the Comments box below.