How to Improve Your Sex Life Through Exercise
If toning, losing body fat, keeping fit, and maintaining good self-esteem are not reasons enough to regularly exercise, then add your sex life to the list of motivators! Here are a few areas where exercise can really make a difference.
Exercise Makes You Feel Sexy
When you are consciously looking after your health and your body, you cannot help but feel sexy. Imagine training regularly for six months, eating well, losing weight and feeling more defined than ever before. You’d surely want to turn the lights on and get down to it with your partner! In fact, numerous clients of mine over the years have commented on feeling more attractive to their partner as they have increased their levels of exercise.
Flexibility Leads to More Options for Sex
Ever wondered why people joke about the benefits of being bendy when it comes to sex? It makes complete sense, as the main areas of the body used for sex are the shoulders, hips, and entire back. If these areas are tight, sex will not be comfortable and you may be a little limited in the positions you can try.
Regular Physical Activity Can Lead to Enhanced Arousal
During exercise feel good chemicals called endorphins are released, and this same release happens during sex. The more frequently you can trigger this endorphin release via sex or exercise, the easier it is to become sexually aroused.1
Women in Their Forties Can Have Better
In a study of over 5,500 Finnish women in their forties and fifties, statistically significant positive associations were observed between strenuous exercise and orgasm experiences for women in their forties.2 Strenuous exercise examples include high-intensity interval training, such as sprints and Tabata training, an intense gym or boot camp class, or challenging weight training session.
Men Are Less Likely to Have Erectile Dysfunction
At the 2010 meeting of the Urological Association, Erin McNamara, MD, of Duke University Medical Center presented findings that stated: “Men who were moderately active - walking briskly just thirty minutes a day, four days a week, or the equivalent - were about two-thirds less likely to have sexual dysfunction than their sedentary counterparts.” This is a fairly convincing reason for men to get away from their desk or the couch and get active.
Exercise Strengthens the Cardiovascular System and Improves Circulation
Aerobic exercise increases circulation, can reduce stress, rejuvenates the body, and can fill us with renewed energy for the bedroom. It also tends to improve blood flow, including to the genital regions, which leaves you more primed for sexual activity.
Key Exercises for More Satisfying Sex
Obviously being fitter and healthier overall will go a long way. But specific types of exercises can also improve your strength, flexibility and stamina in bed.
Pelvic Floor Exercises (or Kegels)
These exercises are done to strengthen the pubococcygeus (or PC) muscle, which contracts during orgasm. Women who strengthen this area by doing pelvic floor exercises report better and more consistent orgasms and for men it can lead to stronger and more long-lasting erections.3 Start with holding the area (as if you are stopping urination) for five seconds and then work up to doing ten second holds up to three times a day.
Strength in your abdomen, pelvis, middle and lower back is what “core strength” refers to. A couple of good exercises to improve core strength are abdominal crunches and alternate arm leg raises. Alternate arm leg raise is where you begin on all fours facing down with knees bent, and then lift the opposite arm and leg at the same time. Hold this for a few seconds and then swap sides. Not only will this be good for your core, it will also work your shoulders and glutes, plus help with balance.
Upper Body Work
Any sexual position where you have to support yourself using your arms (such as missionary for the man) requires strength in your upper body. Key exercises to help strengthen are push ups, which work the chest and triceps, the rowing machine in the gym, or using free weights to do various upper body sets, such as bicep curls, tricep push backs, and shoulder press.
The next time your personal trainer encourages you to stretch out your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors, or suggests you go to a few yoga sessions, it isn’t just going to assist in recovery and range of movement in your next training session. It will also loosen you up for having a pleasurable and perhaps more adventurous sexual experience.
Walking, running, cycling, swimming, and rollerblading are just some examples of the cardio fitness you can do a few times each week to improve your performance and stamina in the bedroom.
Obviously, as a personal trainer, I am an advocate of exercise as a consistent habit for all people, because of the many proven benefits it provides. However, keeping fit and healthy to improve your confidence, sexiness, desire, and performance in the bedroom is a standout benefit. Wanting to have sex and being able to satisfy your partner then leads to other benefits such as higher self-esteem, positive emotional connection and therefore relationship well-being. So if you’ve been feeling lackluster when it comes to sex and think you need a boost, then make a change today.
1. Hamilton, L.D., Rellini, A.H., & Meston, C.M. “Cortisol, sexual arousal, and affect in response to sexual stimuli” Journal of Sexual Medicine 5 (2008): 2111-18.
2. Ojanlatva, A., et al. “Sexual activity and perceived health among Finnish middle-aged women." Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 4 (2006): 29.
3. McNamara, E., Alfred-Thomas, J., & Freedland, S.J., “Exercise Correlates to Higher Sexual Function Scores in a Cohort of Healthy Men” (paper presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, 31 May 2010).
4. His and Her Heath. "Smoking, Lack of Exercise Impacts Sexual and Urinary Function." Accessed 09 May 2014.
5. Freeman, S., "10 Exercise Tips for a Better Sex Life." 09 November 2010. HowStuffWorks. Accessed 08 May 2014.
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