A NEW LEASE—on Life!
By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
Wanna Have Sex?
Exercise and Sexual Functioning
We all know that regular exercise reduces the incidence of many chronic diseases. The benefits of regular daily physical activity are numerous. Physical benefits of regular exercise include protection from cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and hypertension and from other chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity. Psychological benefits include “stress relief, mood elevation, increased self-image and self-confidence” (Krucoff and Krucoff 2000).
But did you know that regular physical exercise can improve your sex life? It only makes sense that if your body feels strong and your mind feels balanced, your interest in sex can also improve. Sound good?? Read on…
It is also true that if one has a better body image one feels more inclined toward sexual behavior. On a more physiological level, regular sexual activity activates the sympathetic nervous system and encourages blood flow to the genital regions, thereby enhancing not only pleasure but performance – listen up guys and yes, gals too!
Apparently there is a saying in the erectile dysfunction world that “penis health is heart health” since in order to have an erection the penis must swell with blood. Blocked arteries and other circulatory diseases such as a consequence of diabetes where peripheral circulation is affected can impair sexual activity.
In the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality (vol 7, Oct. 5/04) several studies are quoted where even low levels of exercise can keep “equipment” in better working condition! In fact, a study of 31,742 professional men ages 53-90, found that “men over 50 who kept physically active had a 30% lower risk of impotence compared with inactive men” (Bacon, Mittleman, & Kawachi, 2003). The same principal would hold true for women and clitoral health. Need we say more?
And what about endurance? Stamina? How can you perform in bed if you huff and puff walking up the stairs? Exercise releases endorphins – so does sexual activity. Runner’s high is similar to the bliss and contentment felt during sexual activity. It is the same mechanism so that the more you exercise and engage the same type of endorphin release activity the better the sexual arousal and pleasure in bed. It has been suggested that you can liken your cardiovascular time on the treadmill or elliptical to training for a sexual marathon! How do you like them apples?
A simple equation is: people who exercise more have more sex. This may be due to the fact that people who exercise feel stronger and more vital and are more tuned in and expressive with their bodies in general. Exercise improves one’s confidence as well and hence more interest in sexual activity. Exercise or regular movement can also lead to other activities such as yoga, martial arts or dance, all of which are beautiful expressions of a body in motion. Being more in touch with our bodies can release feelings of sensuality which, in turn, can result in sexual expression.
See you at the gym!
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