We all know that we need to exercise to improve our physical life. But if you needed even more incentive to hit the gym, how about the fact that exercise can improve your sex life too? It seems almost obvious enough. As Karla Robinson, medical writer at GoodRxsays it: “Exercise increases blood flow throughout your body, which helps boost arousal and improve libido.
But that’s not all exercise can do to speed up your sex life. Here’s how working out can heat things up both in the gym and in the bedroom.
Exercise increases blood flow, strength and endurance
“When you exercise, your heart rate increases, which leads to increased blood flow throughout your body, including to your genitals,” Dr Simran Shamanour, sexual medicine consultant Hello Health, says Lifehacker. “This increased blood flow can lead to more powerful and satisfying sexual experiences,” possibly including a harder erection for men. Besides, a 2021 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that women who exercised showed significantly higher levels of desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasm.
Not only can regular exercise improve your overall fitness, which can lead to increased strength and endurance during sexual activity (which can help you last longer and enjoy sex more), but Robinson says weight training is a popular way to potentially increase testosterone and improve sex drive. “It is possible to see a modest increase in testosterone levels in men after resistance training,” she explains, although she notes that older men may see more testosterone increases after. Aerobic exercise.
Testosterone has also been shown to help improve a woman’s libido after menopause with research suggesting that the testosterone boost from HIIT workouts is even greater than other workouts.
It also reduces stress: there’s a reason you feel so good after a workout. “Exercise releases endorphins and helps regulate mood, such as depression and anxiety,” says david tzal, clinical psychologist and deputy director of the NYPD’s Health and Wellness Unit. “Your libido is linked to your emotional health, so when you feel sad and depressed, it makes sex less enjoyable and lowers libido. A brighter mood makes you feel more confident and relaxed during sexual activity.
Exercise helps support the pelvic floor and creates better orgasms
“Practicing Pilates regularly has been correlated to facilitate and strengthen orgasm as well as the overall improvement of your sex life”, fitness frame says founder Melissa Bentivoglio. “Pilates is known for its ability to engage and improve pelvic floor health through a series of exercises that target and improve pelvic floor muscle tone. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum, and play a crucial role in sexual function and pleasure.
Often, weak pelvic floor muscles lead to less effective and weaker contractions, resulting in an overall weaker orgasm or not being able to orgasm at all, Bentivoglio says.
“The more you learn to effectively engage the pelvic floor with deliberate and controlled movement, the more intuitively your body will be able to identify and isolate the right muscles to relax and engage,” she says, which will help support your orgasms.
It can also improve flexibility, and we need to be a little nimble when it comes to playing in the bedroom. Incorporating workouts that increase flexibility into your exercise routine, such as yoga, can also have a positive impact on your sex life, Robinson says. Although research on yoga and sexual health is still limited, she says there are evidence that yoga can help reduce pain during sex and improve lubrication, arousal and orgasms. And if anything, regularly stretching your body through yoga or Pilates will leave you less likely to cramp while trying new sex moves.
How to incorporate exercise into your routine to improve your sex life
According to Tzall, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, along with strength training at least two days per week. Shamanur advises to “mix it up” and try different types of exercises to keep things interesting and on track with a focus on activating your core since “your core muscles are important for sexual positions. which require balance and stability”.