8 lifestyle habits to improve your sex life
Having a good sex life isn't all about what goes on in the bedroom. How you live your life day to day can have a big impact too.
"The better your lifestyle habits, the better sex you'll have," says the UK's leading sex expert and best-selling author Tracey Cox.
"You need energy and a good body image for good sex," she adds.
If you are physically and mentally healthier it can have a knock-on effect on your sex life. So, making some lifestyle tweaks can bring bedroom benefits.
1. Eat more healthily
A bad diet is not going to do you any favours. If you eat a lot of high sugar, high calorie, high fat or processed foods it can affect how you feel physically.
What you eat can affect your vascular health. A poor diet over time can not only lead to obesity, but can also increase your risk of blocked arteries and the health problems and conditions that come with them.
"Being overweight can cause conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes which affect blood flow and can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction," says Cate Campbell, sex and relationship counsellor and author of the Relate Guide to Sex and Intimacy.
"Your general energy level is affected by what you eat, and a bad diet will cause you to be sluggish and lacking in energy," says psychosexual therapist Krystal Woodbridge. "It can also lead to weight gain, which can affect self-esteem and body image, especially for women."
If you are overweight you may be more inhibited, unhappy with your body and ashamed to let your partner see it, which can make sex a no-go area. Being overweight or obese can also make sex exhausting. It may also limit your range of sexual positions if one or both partners are too heavy.
Not eating enough can also leave you lacking energy for any physical activity, including sex.
"Nutritionists say eating certain foods, especially those high in specific nutrients, deliver a powerful boost to the libido," says Tracey. "Women should aim to eat foods high in vitamins A and E like dairy products, eggs, oily fish, fruit, all vegetables - especially green ones. Men need supplies of zinc and vitamin B found in shellfish, cheese, eggs, chicken and turkey, bananas and potatoes."
2. Exercise regularly
Being physically active and getting regular exercise can also improve your bedroom antics. Exercising makes you feel happier about yourself and about how you look. It also makes you less likely to get a range of health conditions that come with obesity, like heart disease and diabetes.
Another reason for men to exercise and trim down, especially round the middle, is that being overweight or obese may also increase the risk of sexual problems.