Sexercise: Exercise to improve your sex life
If you want to turn up the heat in the bedroom, it can be as simple as pulling on your gym kit and lacing your trainers, because staying in shape doesn't just help you look and feel good - it can enhance your sex life too.
"Physical fitness can absolutely boost the physical intensity and quality of sex, because it increases our hormone levels and increases our blood flow to our genitals," says Mark Rayner, general gym manager and personal trainer. "Best of all it will also decrease your stress levels, lowers body fat, and rejuvenates the body while boosting your confidence levels. It's a win-win situation."
In fact, research has shown that physically active women who watched an X-rated film had a 169% greater blood flow to the vagina compared with those who were inactive. Another study found that women felt more attractive after four months of exercise even if they didn't lose weight.
The all-important muscles
"Exercise strengthens your pelvic floor muscles too," explains Stephanie Taylor, founder of Kegel8, which sells pelvic floor exercisers. This means they'll be tighter, thicker and more responsive, which means your love muscles will sit tighter around your partner's penis, and will increase your sensation and, put simply, amplify and magnify both of your orgasms."
Regular exercise also increases blood flow to the genitals, priming men and women for sex. A University of California study of middle-aged, sedentary men found that after just one hour of exercise three times a week, men demonstrated improved sexual function, more frequent sex and orgasms, and greater satisfaction.
"Sexual activity is an exertive physical exercise so any cardiovascular exercise that makes your heart beat faster and lungs work harder would help with stamina building," says physiotherapist Nicola Dyer from BMI Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln.
"A healthier body can cope better with exertion - with any activity, if you are in better condition, you are more likely to enjoy the task more," she adds.
Sex is also a great kind of exercise itself. Did you know that just a 30-minute session could burn around 80 calories or more, while boosting your stamina, self esteem and immunity?
A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attacks, especially for the men, when compared with those who had sex less than once a month.
"Sexual activity can help both your body and mind," says Nicola. "Any enjoyable activity releases your body's natural happy hormones, which can make you feel better and help alleviate stress."
While most exercise is good enough to boost your sex life, here are a few more that can get you in the mood;
- Pilatescan increase blood flow to the pelvic region, while toning the pelvic floor region that can improve your sexual experience.
- Resistance training builds and stretches your love-life muscles, while boosting confidence and certain sex hormones like testosterone.
- Belly dancingis great for loosening your hips and pelvis, while improving your body image and confidence.
- Walking - especially with your partner can do wonders for the emotional aspects of a relationship. In a study of 31,000 men over age 50, Harvard researchers also found that aerobic exercise resulted in a 30-percent lower risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) because it improves circulation and blood flow to the sex organs.
- Yogais great for increasing flexibility, which therefore makes sex more interesting and comfortable.
- Salsa, tango, or ballroom dance lessons will ensure you get nice and close to your partner and create intimacy, and they are sultry, sensual and sexual.