If you’re a regular here, you probably know that I’m passionate about exercise and physical activity – encouraging women to move their bodies every day and to incorporate exercise into their daily lives. It’s my #1 tip for living a calmer, healthier, sexier life!
And in today’s post I’m sharing an extra reason to exercise regularly – the benefits of exercise for your sex life – plus ways it boosts your mind and body.
You may not have thought much about an exercise and sex connection, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re healthier, stronger, and more fit – and feel better about your body – you’ve set yourself up to be better able to enjoy sex and intimacy.
So if you’re ready to get double (or triple!) rewards for your workouts, here are 4 benefits of exercise for your sex life – as well as your body, mind, and marriage.
• Exercise reduces your risk of getting sick or becoming disabled.
What it means for your health – Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer and many other serious health problems.(1,2)
In other words, people who exercise regularly are significantly less likely to develop the leading causes of sickness, disability and death. The scientific evidence for these benefits is very strong – strong enough to make the time and energy you put into exercise well worth the effort.
What it means for your sex life – Serious health problems affect your energy, mood and ability to perform sexually. A healthy heart and blood vessels promote blood flow (good for sex), while an unhealthy heart and blood vessels impair blood flow (bad for sex).
Diabetes and high blood pressure, in particular, can seriously impair sexual performance, particularly in men. (An excellent reason to encourage your husband to exercise with you!)(3) So to ensure that your body is primed for sex and intimacy, exercise regularly to help prevent (or minimize) major health problems.
• Exercise promotes good mental health.
What it means for your health – Regular exercise reduces depression symptoms – studies have shown that it can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.(1, 4) It may also reduce stress and anxiety and promote better sleep.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that reduce pain and enhance feelings of well being.
What it means for your sex life – Depression suppresses libido and zaps the energy needed to enjoy sex and intimacy. Stress, anxiety and lack of sleep can also inhibit libido, especially in women.
Regular exercise, by reducing depressive symptoms and anxiety, may create a positive attitude toward, and greater energy for, sex and intimacy. (People who are suffering from depression should seek medical care and discuss a range of treatment options, including exercise, with their physician.)
• Exercise promotes healthy body weight and positive body image.
What it means for your health – Excess weight contributes to many serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.(5) Losing weight reduces the risk of developing those problems.
Regular exercise, when combined with eating a healthier, lower caloric diet, promotes weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight. People can lose weight and keep it off without exercising, but it’s difficult.
More than 90% of members of the National Weight Control Registry, for example, composed of people who have lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for 5.5 years, used both exercise and calorie restriction to lose weight and maintain their new, lower weight.(6)
What it means for your sex life – For many women, being overweight often negatively affects their body image and sexual feelings. Although beautiful, sexy bodies come in all shapes and sizes, the reality is that most women feel sexier and more confident if they maintain a body weight that’s healthy for their height, build and age.
And regular exercise can help them move toward that goal. It also tones muscles and builds strength, both of which contribute to a positive body image.
• Exercise increases energy and promotes sexual satisfaction.
What it means for your health – When people feel weary and worn out , their natural inclination is to rest or take a nap. Researchers have discovered, however, that people who take a walk feel better and report higher energy levels than those who rest or nap.
And over time, people who begin an exercise program report higher levels of energy than those who remain sedentary.(7)
What it means for your sex life – People who feel energetic are more likely to be in the mood for sex and to enjoy sexual activity. This is especially true for women, whose libido is often closely linked to fatigue and energy levels.
If the thought of starting to exercise seems overwhelming, here are some ideas for fitting it into your busy schedule. Also, if you need some help setting up a regular exercise plan for yourself, check out my ebook, The Busy Woman’s 30-Minute Guide to Exercise. It will help you set up a plan for beginning to exercise regularly, one that takes into account your reasons for exercising and your busy life and schedule.
Use the code FRIEND25 at checkout to save 25% off the regular $5 price.
References and Additional Reading: (1) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2) Exercise is Medicine (3) WebMD – Exercise Benefits for Men (4) WebMD – Exercise and Depression 1 Exercise and Depression 2 (5) WebMD – Obesity (6) National Weight Control Registry (7) WebMD – Exercise and Energy