Let’s Get Physical: Reaping the Benefits of Sex and Exercise
For many of us, the idea of a long, grueling workout sounds like the least pleasurable thing imaginable. But are sex and exercise really that different?
Sweat-inducing, liable to cause some awkward facial expressions, and guaranteed to conjure up at least one questionable moan, both sex and exercise often leave you hot, bothered and reeling from what just happened. And, if recent studies are anything to go by, the two might actually be complimentary too…
A Running Trend
A while ago the Kiiroo twitter page shared this wonderful little tidbit concerning the link between aerobic exercise and sex.
Sounds like a great excuse to hit the treadmill to me!
The good news is that this is the case with both genders too. A study done by White back in 1990 found that male subjects who exercised for 60 minutes a day at least 3 days a week reported an increase in the frequency of their sexual activities, which also became more reliable and resulted in stronger orgasms.
For women, the use of exercise as a tool for sexual health and well-being is even more significant. A study done by Lorenz and Meston in 2014 found that not only did the exercise drastically improve sexual desire in women, but it also had the potential to counter the negative side effects of antidepressants. ‘Exercise immediately prior to sexual activity significantly improved sexual desire and, for women with sexual dysfunction at baseline, the global sexual function’, states the study. ‘These findings have important implications for public health, as exercise as a treatment for sexual side effects is accessible, cheap, and does not add to the burden of care’.
So what does this mean for the Average Joe or Josephine? How can you utilize the power of exercise to boost your own bedroom activities?
With so many different forms of exercise out there you can bet that there’s one for you that will get you bouncing up and down in more ways than one, so let’s look at a few examples together.
Exercises for Better Sex
If you’re seeking stamina in the bedroom, then cardio workouts may be the way to go. With a reputation for increasing stamina, regular cardio routines may soon translate to longer, more intense lovemaking sessions. Cardio workouts are also known for heightening energy levels, controlled heart rate and increasing blood circulation, which will follow through into the bedroom.
An increase in cardiovascular exercise is also linked to a decrease in the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Yet another reason to get that blood flowing!
Recommended Activities: A brisk walk, jogging, swimming, biking.
Are you a fan of the missionary position? How about doggy style or poses that involve propping your partner up? If so, then strength training is a good call.
By strengthening your body and building muscle you’ll be much better equipped for any position that involves supporting your own body weight or that of your partner’s. Strength training in men also increases their testosterone levels, which boosts the sex drive.
Women should also be pumping iron, as various sources have reported that strength training could lead to higher arousal and more intense orgasms in women too. This could, in part, also be due to testosterone, but self-esteem also seems to play a role. ‘Being physically active seems to be a potent aphrodisiac for women’ says associate professor Tina M. Penhollow.
In fact, Penhollow has found that any form of consistent exercise (and physical fitness enhancement) can lead to a more positive view of one’s self which, in turn, leads to increased sexual satisfaction. Yet another lesson in the power of self-love.
Recommended Activities: Dumbbells, Kettlebells, body weight training.
Originating from the same country that gave us Tantra, is it any surprise that Yoga has potent sexual applications.
Balance, flexibility, increased blood flow, and a greater sense of well-being; yoga fosters a number of traits which also have applications in the bedroom and improving your sex life. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the connection between the mind and body that makes yoga such a potent tool for erotic activities. ‘Yoga really increases connection to the body’, says Rachel Allyn, Ph.D., ‘And we’re often very disconnected from our bodies and very much in our heads’.
Focusing in on the breath, how your body feels when you move, and the changes that occur when your partner caresses your skin are all good ways to utilize yoga for an enlightening sexual experience (there are also several poses which can help make certain sex poses more accessible too).
Recommended Activities: Yogic breathing exercises, Child’s Pose, Downward Dog.
Of course, these are just a few examples of how exercise can benefit your sex life. The truth is the massive changes in attitude, diet and overall self-esteem that exercise causes can have a profound effect on all aspects of your life.
So whether you use sex as motivation for exercising or exercise as a motivation for sex do consider bringing some get up and go into your life. You might be surprised by just how profound the results can be.
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