Sex is a great reason to get fit!
Making healthy choices isn’t always easy, especially when it seems like temptation is around every corner. If you are like most people, you have probably made some attempts to tone up or lose weight in time for swimsuit season – but haven’t always been very motivated. But what if getting fit meant you could have great sex – would that help with finding motivation?
However, getting healthy isn’t just about rocking a bikini or being able to bare your midriff with confidence.
It’s about living a long, fulfilling life … and about enjoying long, fulfilling sex as well! As Dr Laura Berman, an Amercian sexologist, explains:
“Yes, a healthy lifestyle is an integral part of a passionate sex life. Our libido and our sexual response are strongly linked to our physical health, and when we aren’t taking care of ourselves physically, it can affect us sexually. You might find that you are no longer in the mood for sex, or that your erections aren’t as strong, or that your orgasms aren’t as powerful or you may become more self conscious about your body. You might not put two-and-two together as you order a bowl full of chips for lunch or when you skip the gym in lieu of happy hour, but these choices can impact your sexual pleasure and desire.”
Circulation is a vital part of our physical health, including our sexual health. Increased blood flow to the genitals during sexual stimulation contribute to those pleasurable feelings of orgasm as well as what helps men to gain and maintain erections. However, when circulation is poor, all of these processes can be hindered or even prevented.
Poor circulation occurs for many reasons. Cigarette smoking is known as a big factor (which is why many studies have linked cigarette use and erectile dysfunction), but other lifestyle habits also play a role.
Exercise helps to promote healthy circulation, so when people lead inactive lives, their blood flow suffers among other things.
The Importance of Diet
As Dr Laura Berman explains in her study, a poor diet can also contribute to a less satisfying sex life.
Carrying extra weight and eating fatty foods can negatively interfere with our hormones.
The constant buildup of body fat can also lead to a buildup of aromatase (an enzyme in fat), which can cause testosterone levels to go down and estrogen to go up. Testosterone plays a key role in creating a healthy sex drive in both men and women, so body fat does more than just make your jeans tight — it can make you less in the mood for sex, as well as less able to perform and enjoy sex as you normally would.
Hormones are also impacted by our stress levels. It is common knowledge that exercise plays a key role in decreasing stress, and so when we skip exercising, cortisol (the stress hormone) can have a negative impact on our bodies since it has no form of release. It can lead to an increase in SHGB (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin) which can lead to a decrease in testosterone (a no-no for a healthy sex drive as explained above), and it can also lead to a decrease in oxytocin. Oxytocin is known as a “bonding” chemical which helps to create feelings of intimacy between couples. When it decreases, desire and intimacy can falter and lead partners to feeling disconnected and unsatisfied (which can be problematic for your libido and your relationship).
If you want to enjoy a more frequent and pleasurable sex life, it might be time to bring out that gym membership!
Try exercises that you will enjoy as well as exercises that can help you get the most results in the bedroom. For example, yoga not only helps to quiet the mind, but it can also strengthen the core and the transverse abs (which can improve a woman’s orgasm intensity and vaginal tone).
And, fun exercise you can do as a couple (such as bush walking, horse riding or joining mixed team sport) can help you enjoy quality time, while you are improving your sexual and physical health.
So the next time you feel tempted to give up on exercise and healthy eating, consider your sex life. Remember, getting fit can equal more frequent and more pleasurable orgasms — what better motivation to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle?!
Author: Linda Thomson, B Arts, Social Science, Human Services, Masters of Counselling, Master Social Work Studies, Social Work, Member – AASW.
Linda Thomson has many years of experience in different fields of counselling, and has also managed counselling services in the not-for-profit sector. She has been involved in training and mentoring counsellors, and providing professional supervision. Linda has extensive training in and a passion for sex therapy as she believes that it is such an important and often misunderstood part of our lives.
Please call 1800 877 924 or book online to make a confidential appointment with Linda.