We’ve all heard it before – eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising is good for us, but what we often don’t hear about it just how good the exercise part can be for our sex lives! I have no doubt that more people would exercise if they knew what a negative effect being inactive was having on their sex life. Particular exercises have more benefits than others, but anything that gets your heart rate up will improve things for you in between the sheets.
When we do any cardiovascular activity (cardio), our heart rate increases. This causes us to sweat, breath heavily and our body’s temperature rises making us feel hot and sometimes making us red in the face. It strengthens our lung capacity, our heart and our muscles. And better athletic performance therefore means better sexual performance. Of course sex is a form of cardio, but ensuring you also get cardio outside the bedroom means better experiences inside it too.
Including cardio in our weekly activities helps our sex lives in numerous ways:
- It increases our stamina, meaning that we can have sex for longer without having to stop because we’re out of breath
- It helps the heart pump blood more freely through the body, and this is crucial for sexual arousal as our genitals need to engorge (fill with blood)
- It makes your fitter and stronger (and sexier), therefore having a positive effect on your self-esteem and body image – both a major predictor of sexual satisfaction and confidence.
- It also decreases your stress levels and makes you happier as your body produces endorphins.
- Your energy levels will increase, therefore you’ll feel less tired and generally more interested in sex
- Your testosterone levels will increase too. Since testosterone fuels our libido, the more we produce, the more we generally want sex.
Yoga or Pilates
Although cardio is important for increased stamina and blood circulation, yoga and pilates really helps to improve overall sexual satisfaction in the bedroom. This is done by helping us become more present, less anxious, more flexible and strong, and by engaging our pelvic floor muscles and core.
- It improves your flexibility, and therefore means you can try more sex positions. Think your leg over his shoulders (deeper penetration) or her straddling you while you sit cross-legged against the headboard.
- It helps you become mindful, which means shifting the focus from those constant thoughts in your head such as “will I come” or “am I good enough” to being more present in the moment and what you’re experiencing in your body. It teaches you to stop and pay attention to your desires, and ultimately connects the mind and body.
- Pelvic floor strengthening is probably the number 1 benefit as this means increased sensation during sex, better ejaculatory and orgasmic control, more intense orgasms, and an overall better sexual experience. Both yoga and pilates teaches you to engage your pelvic floor, and so by doing these forms of exercise your getting your “Kegel exercises” in for the day too. Read why they are so important here.
- It can help decrease stress, anxiety or depression, therefore meaning you’re more likely to want to have sex as you’ll be feeling happier and producing endorphins.
- Like cardio, you should feel more confident and sexy, and you’re improving your strength, your flexibility and your fitness.
Yoga and pilates are highly recommended for men with premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. Several studies have actually been done on how effective yoga can be for a man with premature ejaculation. For woman, difficulty reaching orgasm and pain during sex can often be overcome by introducing yoga or pilates into your exercise routine.
Research actually tells us that couples who exercise together have more sex. So if the above lists are enough to get you into a gym, surely spending some quality time with your partner is?