Your libido (and partner) will thank you
Exercise and diet are widely known as universal tools on the path to wellness. They help you look your best, make you feel fantastic, and reduce the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, and many, many other chronic health conditions. Add to that another possible area of improvement – your sex life.
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The sexual benefits of exercise
Research has demonstrated that exercise could be an alternative to the little blue pill for men seeking to improve sexual performance.
A study of “78 sedentary but healthy men” published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showed how exercise can dramatically benefit a man’s sex life. After the participants exercised an average of an hour a day, 3.5 days per week for nine months, they experienced “greater sexuality enhancements” than the control group in terms of how often they had sex, the “percentage of satisfying orgasms,” and whether or not they could perform. The more each individual’s fitness improved, the greater the improvement in the bedroom.
Women enjoy similar perks from a fitness routine and a study by psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that even short bursts of exercise improved sexual desire. Just twenty minutes of intense cycling before viewing erotic videos was enough to increase arousal.
Greater blood flow, enhanced flexibility and stamina, and a general improvement in self-image are all positive effects from exercise that have an immediate impact on sexual satisfaction. These can also lead to an increase in testosterone production, particularly in men (but also in women). As with all things, moderation is key to capitalize on this hormone’s miracle powers. Overdoing it in the gym or on the track can lower testosterone levels, but this concern is largely relegated to elite athletes. Your average Jim or Janice likely need not worry.
Diet also plays a role in sexual health
Hand-in-hand with a rigorous exercise regimen is a healthy diet loaded with plenty of veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins. Libido sags when your body is missing key nutrients, and it shifts into self-preservation, leaving reproductive concerns behind. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to fatigue, depression, and low energy that stop passion in its tracks. But there are plenty of remedies to be found in the natural world and its abundant sources of nutritional empowerment.
Keep your weight in check by limiting portion size and consuming only calories that your body needs. Avoid too many saturated fats, excess sodium, and added sugars, as these can lead to diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, which in turn can cause erectile dysfunction in men as well as reduced vaginal blood flow and lower fertility in women. Elevated levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol build up plaque in your arteries which can reduce blood flow and bring about heart disease. It’s worth noting that certain blood pressure medications (beta blockers, water pills) can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Also important are a few key minerals to physical and sexual health. Arginine (or L-arginine) is an amino acid found in almonds, walnuts, leafy greens, some fruits, and fish that makes nitric oxide, which allows for healthy blood flow across all organs, above and below the belt. Zinc may have a positive effect on the body’s testosterone levels as well as sperm production. Found in such foods as oysters, beans, nuts, and legumes, it also can impact folate levels, which are important for fertility.
Sex is exercise
On a related note, a healthy sex routine can also help you burn calories, although not a whole lot of them. Young adults burn around three or four calories per minute while engaged in moderate sexual activity, similar to those expended while playing doubles tennis or walking. But don’t assume an active Tinder account means you can cancel your gym membership just yet. That same study also points out that a 30-minute walk on a treadmill burns approximately three times the calories of a moderately intense sexual encounter.
A healthy exercise routine has much of the same requirements as a healthy sex life – consistency and commitment. Whether it’s one, three, or five times a week at the gym, track, or yoga studio, pick what works for you and stick with it. When it starts to get too easy, turn up the heat (under the consultation of a trainer or exercise guru, of course). Also helpful in reaching that next level might be an enhancement of your sexual performance with the GAINSWave® procedure. Its revolutionary technology uses low-intensity soundwaves to break up plaque that blocks blood flow, giving you firmer, longer-lasting erections.