Finding the motivation to exercise has eluded the masses for years. Only a small fraction of the population is privy to the experience known as “runner’s high,” and even fewer actually enjoy the “pain” that comes with pushing your body to its limits. But if exercise means having a better sex life, including increased stamina and better orgasms – would you be more inclined to sweat it out?
There is a proven direct link between sex and exercise. When you exercise, the brain produces endorphins that stimulate the release of sex hormones. These hormones reduce your heart rate, improve digestion, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels and relax the body. Oh, and you also might just feel primed and ready for a little one-on-one time in the bedroom.
Sexual benefits of fitness
Cardio: Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, rollerblading or even a pick-up game of basketball can rev up beta-endorphins, which will cause your heart to race and your blood to flow to all the right places. Engage in these activities with your partner, and you will find your desire almost doubles.
Strength: The cure for a low libido is lurking amid all the steel and iron at your local gym too. Strength training increases levels of growth hormone, which contributes to spikes in testosterone – the hormone of arousal. Including strength training into your routine two or three times per week, along with adequate sleep, has been shown to improve sexual arousal.
Yoga: The roots of yoga date back centuries, when the practice was used to stimulate a sexual awakening (also known as tantra.). Focusing your mind and tuning into your senses in a yoga class can work wonders for your sex life – not to mention, improve flexibility for trying new positions with your partner.
In general, engaging in physical activity improves self-esteem and immunity, helps you manage a healthy weight, and increases stamina and energy – all the ingredients for a healthy libido.
Battle of the sexes
A 2008 study conducted at Florida Atlantic University found that men and women who exercised frequently were more likely to rate themselves higher in regards to sexual performance and sexual desirability. However, these researchers found that the improvements in sexual health varied between the two sexes. Physical activity was shown to prime a woman’s body for sexual activity by making her more sensitive to touch and increasing the efficacy of stimuli, while men experience improved sexual function and better orgasms.
Burning calories in the bedroom
If sweating it out in the great outdoors or pumping iron in the gym sounds like the worst way to rev up your sex drive, there is good news: Sex is a workout. Spend enough time on foreplay and swapping positions, and you can torch as many as 100 calories over the course of a 30-minute session. During the act, you will experience an increase in metabolic rate, heart rate, muscle strength – and you may even relieve some stress. If you really want to make sex an effective workout, consider adding a few novelty items to your time in the bedroom, such as the sexercise ball, which adds a dynamic core workout to the mix.
There are countless benefits of exercise, and better sex just happens to be one of them. Next time you are considering skipping your workout, consider the impact it could have on your sex life – something you might deem worthy of going the extra mile.
This article originally appeared here, and is authored by Dr. Jennifer Landa