It’s a fact you can exercise your way to a flatter stomach, run miles to improve your cardio, and get rid of or reduce the hanging flab off your upper arms by doing a program of weight lifts. Almost any program of moderate exercise done on a regular basis (and, better yet, with the assistance of a trainer) will definitely improve circulation, increase stamina, and make you look and feel healthier. But can exercise positively impact your sex life? The answer is definitely yes.
Good sex is inextricably connected to good health. In other words, the healthier you are overall, the better the outlook for your sex life. Sex is in itself a form of exercise, especially if you approach it from a vigorous, athletic aspect. But if your only exercise is sex, you’re probably not reaping the most health benefits out of it, or even having especially good sex.
When we think of good sex, many of us, especially if we’re male, immediately think about endurance. You enjoy the sex you have, but to please your partner, you need to make it last long enough for her to fully enjoy it. And as the old saying goes, it takes two to tango; if she’s winded and out of breath after only a few minutes, she’s probably in the same (bad) shape as you. And that’s no fun, is it?
Exercises that improve endurance both in and out of bed focus on cardio routines. Absolutely, time put in on the elliptical machine or the treadmill is time well spent. What you want is to get your heart rate up and then keep on going so that you’re able to continue working out (and making love) for a little bit longer every time. Even a half hour of walking twice a day, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, will improve the condition of your heart.
Being flexible definitely improves sexual performance. Yoga is terrific exercise for stretching, the ability to stretch and not become cramped being a basic component of good sex. Don’t have the time or initiative to take a class? There are some really great yoga tapes you can pop in your DVR to work out to in your home.
Any exercise that brings more blood flow to the pelvis is a sexual enhancer because that’s where all the sex-sensitive nerve endings are. Again, yoga does wonders in this area, as do simple Kegel exercises that can be done frequently and so discreetly that no one will even know you’re doing them. (To do a Kegel exercise, contract your pelvic-floor muscles as if you are trying to stop urinating; release the muscle and then squeeze again.)
This may seem to go against common sense, but women who get their exercise in the form of martial arts find their newfound skills to be advantageous in the bedroom. Not only are martial arts (or any exercise-oriented self defense training) excellent for your health because they’re geared to strengthening and toning the body, but that strategic edge against predators women get when they feel strong and confident translates very well to the bedroom. That kind of “take charge” confidence means the woman can occasionally take an assertive, even dominant sexual role and not always fall back on the usual feminine stereotype of being passive. It’s terrifically stimulating to know that if you want, you can pin your partner down. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Eve Marx is the author of eight sex books. Her titles include "Whats Your Sexual IQ?," "Flirtspeak: The Sexy Language of Flirtation," "The Goddess Orgasm," and "101 Things You Didnt Know About Sex."