5 Ways Exercise Benefits Sex
Sex is great for just about everything. It can even make your hair glossier. But it can be hard work, and good sex requires at least some level of physicality. Today, we look at five ways exercise can benefit your sex life. Get some.
Positive Body Image
That moment, when you catch a reflection of yourself, and you notice a little bit of toning has appeared, your body is a little firmer somewhere, and you know you’ve worked hard to make it that way. That feels good.
Liking the way you look, however that presents and manifests, provides a sense of confidence that is carried into the bedroom. For many, exercise is the activity that provides that little boost, and sharper body tones and healthy skin is the best way to achieve it.
It doesn’t matter your body size and shape. Being active inevitably leads to a more positive body image for most of us, and a positive body image – whatever that image is – raises self-esteem and confidence, and the feeling of being attractive. The more confidence you have in your body image, the more likely you are to enthusiastically engage in sexual activity.
Sexual Performance Enhancements
As with everything else in our lives, physical activity helps your body perform at its best. A University of California study concluded that exercise increased the “frequency of various intimate activities, the reliability of adequate functioning during sex, and the percentage of satisfying orgasm.”
That final point really got our attention. A similar study from the University of Texas found exercise enhanced the “physiological sexual arousal in women.” In other words, women who exercise regularly are able to become aroused, and become more aroused, than those who don’t.
And of course there are the ‘normal’ benefits of exercise that are particularly useful during sex: a regular exercise regime can enhance sexual performance through better regulation of the heartrate, breathing, and muscle control. Not to mention, stamina.
Your body operates differently when you’re stressed, and it can strike your desire for sex in particular. Namely, stress produces the hormone cortisol, which, over time, can decrease your libido. Exercise, on the other hand, stimulates the production of feel-good endorphins, which contributes to a healthy sex drive.
Exercise is also a very effective treatment for depression, and depression, as many of us know first hand, has a very destructive effect on our sex lives. By exercising regularly, you reduce stress, manage depression, and increase your desire for sex. It’s a virtuous circle of positives.
It goes almost without saying that cardio workouts are good for an active sex life. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, running, swimming, and cycling all improve your circulation.
Why is this good? Well, blood oxygenates your muscles, giving you energy and strength for other aerobic activities – like sex. It’s also a key factor in sexual response, and exercise promotes the healthy blood flow necessary for sexual receptiveness. It’s the first thing most doctors prescribe for erectile dysfunction, for example.
Sex is a whole-body activity. It’s important to keep muscles and blood vessels performing at their best, and you’ll reap the benefits in the bedroom.
Bend Me, Shake Me
Exercise improves joint action and tendon performance. This makes sex more vigorous, and more comfortable for longer durations. You don’t need to go and practice yoga on a Himalayan peak, or a South-East Asian island, or a Swedish sauna on some Alpine fjord to achieve this. You can work on your flexibility in any spare twenty minutes you can find in your day, with nothing more than a flat space, some comfortable clothes, and perhaps a youtube video for guidance.
When it comes to having to hold your body in certain positions for long periods during sex, a few degrees of extra flexibility can really count.
With 16 years in the adult industry, including many years at LELO, it’s fair to say Stu has been around the sex toy block a few times. As LELO’s resident sex geek, he’s been featured in the Independent, the Guardian, HuffPost, Vice, Cosmopolitan, and anywhere people talk about sex. Here on Volonte, he turns his spotlight onto the important events affecting sex right now in a regular op-ed. Views are his own.