Exercise and Sex Drive: The Connection Explained
Category: Healthy Living
Posted on February 8, 2021
Vanessa is a health writer and blogging expert. Her specialities are medicine, health and wellness. She is proud to call Vancouver, BC her home where she enjoys the ocean and mountains with her dog Mr. ChowChow.
We all exercise for a range of different reasons: to lose weight, to stay healthy, to have fun. But have you ever thought about there being a connection between exercise and sex drive?
It's totally normal to experience waxing and waning in your libido; factors like age, hormone levels, and other influences can all come into play when it comes to affecting your sex drive.
Nonetheless, if your sex drive is a lot lower or higher than you'd like it to be, then exercise might be having a greater role than you think. Plenty of research has been done into the connection between exercise and sex drive, revealing how the two are often intertwined.
So what can this mean for you and your lifestyle? Could exercise revitalize your sex drive and bring a new lease of life into the bedroom? Read on to find out.
The Connection Between Exercise and Sex Drive
Sex drive is affected by various hormones in both men and women, including estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. If any of these hormones are particularly high or low, people can experience a knock-on effect in their libido.
However, the sex drive is also impacted by a variety of other influences, such as mood, lifestyle habits, emotional connections, and so on. It's much more complicated than simply having hormone levels in the right balance.
That's why, when it comes to the question of 'how does exercise impact sex drive', there are a variety of different benefits and disadvantages to consider. Let's look at the two sides in more detail.
Benefits of Exercise for Sex Drive
Studies down in the 1980's show that, for men, exercise benefits from 60 minutes of sustained exercise three to five days a week included "significantly greater sexual enhancements". These enhancements referred to the increased frequency of intimate activities, improved reliability of erections during sex, and the percentage of satisfying orgasms.
A second study in 2008 investigated whether the same could be said for women. The results here showed that 20 minutes of intense exercise significantly enhanced the sexual arousal of the women in question. Clearly then, the exercise benefits are similar between the two sexes.
So why are the benefits of exercising so closely linked with sex drive, according to these studies? Spending time getting to know your body and feeling more closely linked with your physical activity could well make a person feel more confident and sexy, in turn leading to higher libido.
What's more, many people exercise to lose weight and look good, which would also improve their confidence. Greater confidence in themselves might inspire them to feel sexier when it comes to intimacy.
Improving fitness through exercise could also mean that people are able to engage in sex for longer, as they have better stamina. Doing so could also lead to more enthusiasm in the bedroom and get them more excited for intimate activities overall.
Exercise and sex drive do also rely on some of the same hormones. Testosterone is present in both men and women and holds influence over libido. Exercise produces testosterone in greater quantities, so the link could also lie within the hormone balances necessary for both activities.
Physical exercise is also a great stress reliever, which can also help people get into the mood more easily. Stress is a result of the hormone cortisol, which exercise counteracts by producing endorphins, or the 'happy hormone'.
Feeling less stressed and more relaxed and happy can certainly help boost the libido. Perhaps then this side effect of exercise also contributes to the increased sex drive that so many are reporting.
A study published in 2019 also showed that regular cardiovascular exercise can help combat sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction in men and arousal difficulty in women. This is likely due to increased blood flow, which is vital for sexual arousal in both men and women.
Ultimately, there are a variety of related benefits between exercise and sex drive. Many people have seen improvements to their libido after spending more time exercising, so it's certainly worth looking into.
Nonetheless, there are always two sides to every coin. Some studies and experiences have exposed some disadvantages for sex drive as a result of exercise as well.
Disadvantages of Exercise for Sex Drive
When it comes to intense exercise, rather than the 60 minutes of exercise in the study above, the opposite results were found when it comes to sex drive. A study completed by the University of North Caroline polled 1100 men.
The men who exercised intensely, often through running or cycling, reported a decrease in their sex drives. In comparison, those men who rarely exercised had much higher libidos, comparatively.
This would therefore imply that exercise and sex drive do go hand in hand, but that too much exercise can actually be a detriment to your sex life.
Indeed, there is a common saying among professional boxers and other high-intensity sportspeople that having sex before a big event can negatively affect the performance of the athlete.
What's more, very active women have noted disruption to their menstrual cycles and even difficulty when trying to conceive. It's important to note that these cases are when people are exercising to extreme levels, often as professional athletes.
It's unlikely that the average person's level of exercise will affect their ability to conceive, but people who train intensely on a regular basis may experience hormone disruption that can affect menstrual cycles and libidos.
For the more average sportsperson, regular exercise can leave people feeling tired or with strained muscles that could mean they have a lower sex drive. Coming in from a long run or bike ride could certainly make someone want to just curl up on the sofa, rather than dive straight into bed!
How To Improve Your Sex Life With Exercise
Overall, the positive connections between exercise and sex drive do seem to outweigh the negatives. But does that mean that, if you're looking to improve your sex life, exercise should be the answer?
Of course, regular exercise is a good habit to build up for a range of reasons. It keeps you fit and healthy, improves blood circulation, and has been proven to help stave off mental health issues as well.
Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise can help to improve stamina, making you able to engage in sexual activity more intensely and for longer. Doing regular HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) could therefore be a wise choice.
If you want to mix things up more in the bedroom, you might want to improve your overall flexibility. Yoga or pilates could be helpful in making you more bendy and supple. With that comes greater freedom to explore new positions or experiment in the bedroom.
Using weights or strength-building exercises can help to improve your upper body and core strength, which can also do wonders in the bedroom. Being able to lift and turn your partner can open up new intimate avenues and might well be a turning point for your libido.
In these cases, it's all about making your body more capable to try new and exciting things. Once you can get more excited about sex, you might well see an uptick in your sex drive as well.
Should You Exercise To Improve Your Sex Life?
Nonetheless, it's important to remember that exercise is not the only factor that can affect your libido. Our bodies are often complicated, so it can be tricky to pinpoint one specific factor that will solve all of your problems.
That's why, when it comes to looking at how to improve your sex life, exercise should likely be used in conjunction with other measures. Exercise can help to improve people's mood and fitness, both of which will aid in raising libido, but you may need extra help if you're experiencing more serious sexual dysfunction.
For example, people suffering from erectile dysfunction or who have prolonged difficulty achieving or maintaining arousal should likely seek medical help. It could be that they are suffering from a condition that cannot be solved through exercise alone.
If this is the case for you, then you could also look for some extra sexual support through supplements or medications. Many medications related to sexual wellness are available to buy online. It's important to always go with reputable producers when buying online.
For erectile dysfunction specifically, there is plenty of choices, depending on your individual circumstances. Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to initiate an erection, the impaired ability to maintain an erection, or having trouble ejaculating.
If you suffer from any of these issues, you might need medication to help you get back to peak sexual performance. The most commonly prescribed solutions are Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil).
If you do choose to order medications online, it's often advisable to seek advice from your doctor at the same time. Above all else, you want to make sure that you purchase the right thing for your needs, so getting an expert opinion is always a help in that regard.
What's more, buying supplements online can be risky when you don't know what you're doing, so make sure you do plenty of research before committing. Any good medication service online should provide plenty of help and resources to make sure you can access the products that you actually need.
When it comes to exercise and sex drive, it's a good idea to still continue to exercise alongside taking any medications or supplements. Just because exercise didn't completely solve an issue for you, that doesn't mean it wasn't having a positive effect nonetheless.
Combining a healthy amount of exercise, a varied diet, and any medications agreed upon with your general practitioner will likely have the best overall effect possible. Try to put together a daily routine that incorporates all three and hopefully you'll get your sex drive to the level that you want it to be.
Access Medical Help
Experiencing a new increase or decrease in sex drive can feel overwhelming. There is a general taboo around sexual health that means many people don't discuss problems that arise when it comes to sexual performance.
It's important to know, if you are experiencing problems achieving or sustaining sexual arousal, that you're not alone. Approximately 40% of men will experience erectile dysfunction in some form by the age of 40.
Waxing and waning of sexual performance and libido is a natural part of aging and can be influenced by lifestyle changes. It's nothing to be ashamed of, so if it's something you want to change, don't be afraid of going out to get the help you need.
When it comes to exercise and sex drive, incorporating a healthy amount of regular exercise might just do the trick. It's clear that there is a strong positive connection between exercise and sex drive, so it's worth giving it a try.
If you're still experiencing difficulties with sex drive, then it might be time for a second opinion and different measures. That's where the team at PricePro Pharmacy can come in.
Our healthcare experts are ready to help you access the prescription medications you need for the best price possible. We believe that everyone should be able to get the medical help they need, so it's our mission to provide you with the best possible service.
Our team is happy to help you find the medications you need to solve any sexual wellness or indeed any other health concerns. If you have any specific questions or feel like you need guidance, don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.