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Exercise Can Spice Up Your Sex Life

Studies Show Both Men and Women Benefit From Exercise

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Updated March 01, 2005

Flowers and chocolates might be great for romance, but a brisk 2-mile walk each day may be what you need to heat up your sex life. Study after study shows that exercise can improve sexual function for both men and women.

"Regular exercise may enhance sexuality through a variety of mechanisms that affect both the mind and body," said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise "Physical improvements in muscle strength and tone, endurance, body composition and cardiovascular function (specifically, enhanced peripheral blood flow) can all enhance sexual functioning. Be careful not to over-train; too much exercise can actually decrease testosterone levels leading to a less-robust sexual appetite."

Studies Show Exercise Maintains or Improves Your Sex Life

Exercise Enhances Self-Image and Sexual Satisfaction: An October 2004 article in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality concluded that individuals who exercise regularly feel better about themselves, perceive they are more sexually desirable and experience greater levels of satisfaction.

Exercise Can Improve Erections and Reduce Risk of Impotence: The August 2003 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine published results of a study that found exercise can add years to a man's sex life and lower chances of impotence. Researchers looked at men over the age of 50 and found those who were physically active reported better erections with a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than men who were inactive.

Exercise Improves Erectile Dysfunction: In the June 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the University of Naples reported that lifestyle modifications, namely a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise, improve erectile dysfunction in obese men.

Two Miles a Day Keeps ED Away: A brisk 2 mile walk each day can reduce men's risk of impotence according to Dr. Irwin Goldstein, from Boston University School of Medicine in a study published in the August, 2000 issue of Urology. His 9-year study of 600 men who at the start of the study had no impotence problems found that those who kept exercising or took up exercising at middle age reduced their risk of impotence. Taking other healthy actions at mid-life such as quitting smoking, losing weight or cutting back on drinking did not reduce the risk of impotence.

Exercise Maintains Circulation: An article printed in the February 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association shows exercise helps increase sexual potency because it strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves circulation. Good circulation is necessary for sexual function whereas obesity, smoking or heavy alcohol use can hamper this effect.

Boost Your Sex Life With Exercise

"Sexual function is affected by general health and the more you can do to improve your health with physical activity, the better your sex life can be," said Bryant. "Exercise has psychological benefits as well such as stress reduction, improved self-esteem, elevated mood and increased confidence that can also contribute to a more enriched sex life."

Walk Your Way to a Better Sex Life

Want to increase your exercise and reap the benefits? Join in one of our free email walking exercise programs.
Walk of Life 10-Week Program: Daily support for walking and weight loss
Let's Get Walking: Daily beginners program
Step Counters: Daily tips for pedometer walking

Source: American Council on Exercise Press Release 2/9/05

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