6 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Life
Sex and exercise are closely related.
Just witness the sweating, grunting, lunging, thrusting glory of gym activity. We gaze at ourselves in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors, sweat dripping, lips pouting, breath coming hard and heavy, looking deep into our own eyes.
I mean, come on. Some people in the gym practically scream the famous line from "Silence of the Lambs" as spoken by serial killer Buffalo Bill: "I'd f*ck me."
The good news for all the gym rats out there—and for all the yogis, athletes and other fitness devotees—is that regular exercise can directly benefit you in the boudoir. Here are a few ways exercise has an impact.
Blood flow is crucial to healthy erectile function. Even a short walk, a few lunges or just some pushups on the regular can help get the blood flowing where it needs to be.
And if you really want to improve your sex life, amp up the aerobic exercise. According to a study published in 2019 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, both men and women saw significant improvement in sexual function with increased aerobic exercise, no matter their fitness level.
Apart from burning fat and improving your overall physical condition, both of which are critical to good sexual function, regular aerobic exercise directly improves your stamina. That means you can go longer and get more enjoyment from sex for both you and your partner.
3. Management of stress, depression and anxiety
We know that erectile function and general sexual function are profoundly impacted by our emotional state. Exercise releases endorphins, which reduce stress and even trigger a kind of euphoria, according to the journal Sports Medicine.
A recent study on rats goes even further, showing that exercise helps us cope with future stress better. The research was published in the journal Pharmacology, demonstrating that physical activity increased the production of the neuropeptide galanin, which mitigates stress and improves sexual function.
4. Heart health and sexual function
Regular exercise is, of course, crucial to a healthy heart. But research has shown that even moderate exercise can directly enhance not only coronary health, but also sexual functioning in men.
One study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior followed a group of men over the course of a nine-month exercise program. They worked out at 75 to 80 percent intensity three times a week for 60 minutes. Even this moderate level of exercise saw a vast improvement in the frequency of sexual encounters, reliability of sexual functioning and percentage of orgasms. What's more, the degree of improvement in sexual function was directly correlated with how much their fitness levels improved.
Are you or your partner intrigued by some of those more adventurous positions you see in porn? While we don't recommend you dive right into handstands or carrying your partner from room to room while you're going at it, even moderate exercise can give you the improved flexibility you need to safely branch out from good old missionary.
6. Calorie burning
Truth be told, since most sexual encounters last from three to 13 minutes, they're not usually considered significant exercise. However, if you can improve your stamina and stretch it out to, say, 25 minutes, research like this meta-study published in Plos-One found that men expend, on average, 101 calories during sex, women 69 calories. (Nice.)
That's about the equivalent of a moderate-intensity walk, or less than half what you burn in a moderate-intensity run of the same duration—but, oh, so much more fun.
The CDC recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week, so get out there—then get yourself into the bedroom!