A growing body of research studies links fitness with a boost in desire, arousal, and satisfaction. Tell me more please!
I’m sure that you have heard by now that a consistent exercise program can do wonders to reduce the risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. But a growing body of health research has also linked exercise with dramatically improving your sex life.
This article isn’t going to get into graphic positions for better sex, instead we are going to focus on the top level benefits that apply to everyone. We will leave the positions for you to discover and explore.
Why is this so important?
Feeling confident in your ability to show up for good sex is important for your confidence and overall self esteem. Like anything else we do in life, if you are pursuing a path of living as the best version of yourself, you want that to include something as important as sex. Sex is a physical act, and like all physical exertion, you need endurance, agility, strength and endurance. Fitness and exercise will power the best sex of your life, and why wouldn’t you want those benefits?
This is about YOU. This is not one of those old school Cosmopolitan articles like ‘how to satisfy your lover with these 27 Bedroom Circus Acts - or ‘Keep Them Hungry For More’ . There is a clear benefit from leveraging exercise to be better in bed, but we are going to primarily focus on how this improves sex for you - your lover will reap their own benefits (and like a gift that keeps on giving, this should improve both of your sexual experiences with each other).
For the Guys: following a regular exercise program appears to act as a type of ‘natural’ Viagra. Men that exercise face a lower risk of erectile challenges. In one study, sedentary middle-aged men assigned to a consistent exercise program for 9 months reported an uptick in sexual activity frequency, significantly improved sexual function (boner power) and a dramatically improved sense of overall sexual satisfaction. Those men whose fitness levels increased the most reported the biggest and most profound improvements in their sex lives.
For the Ladies: Women who are physically active and follow a regular workout regime consistently report feeling greater sexual desire, increased arousal, and significantly greater overall sexual satisfaction than women who don’t exercise on a regular basis. The impact of this is huge - exercise has the ability to elevate your sexual pleasure above and beyond the experience of the vast swath of the sedentary population. With everything that is going on in the world, and if life in general in these chaotic times, better sex might not be up there in your list of daily priorities - but it should be. A healthy, pleasurable sex life is a cornerstone to a woman’s overall health and well being - plus you just deserve it. You really do.
In one of the more unusual research studies, a group of women did 20 minutes of high intensity cycling and then watched an adult film. Results showed much greater physiological sexual desire (your body’s readiness) as calculated by a medical device that measured vaginal blood flow) than the group of women who did not exercise before seeing the film.
Increased blood flow in the body explains why fitness leads to improved sexual ability in men as well. Beyond mere blood flow however is an enhanced and improved self-image and self-esteem that comes from exercise and builds with exercise consistency. Point blank truth: if you exercise you will feel more sexually desirable, which sets you up for better sexual experience. The Brain is our largest sexual organ, and studies have repeatedly shown that both men and women’s brains find a confident attitude sexy - we find humans that are confident sexy - no matter their shape or size. The increased body confidence that comes with greater strength, flexibility, and stamina will serve to continue to improve your experience of sex.
The Story of a Sexual Rebirth: Many women in the 40’s and 50’s (and older) that rediscover fitness have reported that after getting into a consistent strength training workout program that they experienced what can be best described as a ‘sexual rebirth’.
Shelia, a women in her mid 40’s described what she experienced: ‘I was active in high school in school sports, and that carried over into my early twenties. At some point I stopped playing sports, and then pretty much stopped moving altogether. I had bouts of exercising here and there, but life always seemed to creep up on me and get in the way. I also just lost touch with that physical side of myself that had been so important to me as a girl and young woman. After I had my kids, I felt this need to get back to that feeling of peace and happiness that came from being physical and moving. I found BodyRock online and after watching from the sidelines, I decided that I was worth the $20 per month that the subscription costs. The programs challenged me, but I started with several of the beginner series that they have and worked my way up. After just six weeks I felt like I had reconnected with my body. I could see and feel the changes. My confidence flooded back into me like I was a dried out sponge. I had no idea that I had been living in this half-dead, physically numb state. Once I felt at home again in my body, I rediscovered in myself a sexual desire and passion that I had forgotten existed. I’m blushing now just thinking about it. I had lost so much of my life, the feelings and excitement that I was capable of just by reconnecting with my body, and not treating it like a mini-van that was just for hauling everyone else’s life priorities around. I feel alive now, and I can’t ever go back to being numb and physically asleep”.
Thats pretty compelling testimony to the power of fitness to not just transform the way that you look, but also the way that you experience one of the most pleasurable physical acts of life.
Physical exercise, particularly strength training, can increase the levels of testosterone in the body, which increases the sex drive in both men and women. That said, striking a balance is necessary. Overexercising can have the opposite impact by lowering testosterone levels and decreasing sexual drive. Find well balanced workout programs that have been designed for your fitness level and this won’t be something that you need to be concerned about.
Does Having Sex effect exercise performance?
You may have heard that professional athletes, particularly fighters, abstain from sex before they compete.
As Rocky Balboa’s coach said in the classic boxing movie Rocky, “women weaken legs.” The good news for anyone that enjoys a pre-workout romp, research does not support this belief. support for the belief. There have been no known research studies that have linked having sex with lower athletic performance.
Overall, the research shows that sex before exercise doesn’t have a negative effect as long as there’s a gap of 2 hours and the sexual activity doesn't also involve additional factors like alcohol, drugs, overeating or lack of sleep. In fact, it’s possible that sex may improved fitness performance by helping people to relax prior to exercising.
Does Sex Count As a Workout?
If you’re wondering if you can count sex as a workout, exercise, it depends on how long you are having sex and the intensity of your love sesh. A study of young adults discovered that sex burned 3-4 calories per minute at what was described as a ‘moderate pace’. It’s difficult to determine on an individual basis what a ‘moderate’ sexual pace looks like, but the study compared it to walking.
Unless you are at your physical and or sexual prime, sex doesn't tend to last as long as a typical workout - which means its calorie burning potential is lower than other physical activities. That said, I’m willing to bet that 100% of the people in the study enjoyed sex more than other forms of exercise!
We hope that this article has shed some light on the link between exercise and enjoying a better and more fulfilling sex life. To get started on your fitness journey, we invite you to try a free 5 day strength training bootcamp - the same bootcamp that helped empower Shelia's rebirth above. It's designed for beginners and it gives you a taste of what we have for you inside BodyRockPlus, our fitness streaming platform where the majority of our workouts and programs live. We'd love to train with you!