7 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Life

By Emily G. W. Chau


If you want to turn up the heat in the bedroom, it can be as simple as lacing up your sneaks. After all, staying in shape doesn’t just help you look good—it can enhance your sex life, too.

“Physical fitness absolutely affects the physical intensity and quality of sex,” says Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD, co-author of The Orgasm Answer Guide. “Sex is a kind of exercise itself.” (Search: How many calories do you burn having sex?) Research shows that exercise can boost your testosterone levels, increase blood flow “down there,” and even improve your orgasms. Here, we get down and dirty and share seven ways that your workout could pay off between the sheets. Who knew that getting sweaty could be so sexy?


It just makes sense: The more you exercise, the healthier your arteries—including the ones that go between your legs. A cardio routine to get the blood pumping) Exercise increases the flexibility of your arteries, so it’s easier for them to expand and get blood coursing through your veins. And for men, the better your blood flow, the stronger your erection.

But it’s not just men who benefit. University of Texas at Austin researchers had 35 women come in on two separate occasions to watch a brief travel film followed by an erotic video; before one session, the women cycled for 20 minutes. Using a device that measures blood flow to the vagina, the researchers found that women were 169% more aroused while watching the X-rated film after a sweat session.

It Boosts Testosterone

Pumping iron can help pump up your levels of the sex hormone testosterone, too. A Baylor University study found that men’s testosterone levels were highest during the 48 hours after they lifted weights.

In general, staying fit can help keep your testosterone levels from plummeting. A study conducted by the New England Research Institutes documented that a man’s waist size correlates with his testosterone levels. They found that a waist circumference larger than 41 inches was a better predictor of low testosterone levels than overall weight.

It Makes You More Reliable

Before you hit the Viagra, try hitting the gym instead. Studies show that exercise can cause men to have sex more often, and it can make them more reliable, too. In large study of 31,000 men, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that those who exercised vigorously for 20 to 30 minutes a day were 30% less likely to report having erectile dysfunction than were couch potatoes.

50 Simple Ways to Help Your Heart

It’s never too late to start reaping the benefits of exercise. University of California, San Diego researchers tasked a group of sedentary but otherwise healthy middle-aged men to hit the gym for an hour, three to four times a week. After sticking to the exercise program for nine months, the men reported that sex was more frequent, more reliable, and more satisfying.

It Improves Your Stamina

To put it bluntly: Men, the better shape you’re in, the longer you’ll last in bed. “In most sex positions, the man needs to push, so he needs to have strong back muscles,” says Nasserzadeh. Plus, when you’re fit, your ejaculation lasts longer, and loose abdominal muscles or weak PC muscles might affect the angle or erection, she adds.

It Improves Flexibility

While trying out new sex positions might require some imagination, seeing how you can pull a muscle in the process doesn’t. “If you’re not flexible enough, you can’t strain yourself to do things when you’re exploring and becoming more adventurous in bed,” says Nasserzadeh.

If you want to get a little kinky beneath the sheets, lengthening and strengthening exercises (no pun intended!) can help you contort your body. To keep your muscles limber, yoga and Pilates are excellent options.

It Gets You in the Mood

Whether they’re worrying about their children or making a checklist for the next day, women are particularly prone to a mind that wanders during sex. And since, for women, emotions play such a large part in getting turned on, drifting thoughts can lower sexual satisfaction. Luckily, exercising can help you get more in tune with your body and emotion in the moment. “Yoga and breathing exercises can teach you to how to cut out external distractions so you can concentrate in the moment,” says Nasserzadeh.

  • It Boosts Blood Flow

  • It Boosts Testosterone

  • It Makes You More Reliable

  • It Improves Your Stamina

  • It Improves Flexibility

  • It Gets You in the Mood

    It Makes You Feel Hot

    Exercise makes you look good and feel good—and that confidence carries over to the bedroom. University of Arkansas researchers surveyed 450 college students and found that people who were physically fit also saw themselves as hotter commodities and better in the sack. More than 90% of men who said they had a much-above-average fitness level also ranked their sexual desirability and performance as above average or much above average. Among women, 80% of those who worked out four to five days a week rated their bedroom antics as above average, and 60% of them thought of themselves as above average on an attractiveness scale.

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