Good sex is mostly about confidence, intimacy and feeling safe and sensual with your partner – but having a good level of stamina doesn’t hurt either.
If you like to be adventurous with your positions, or if you’re aiming for an all-nighter, having reserves of strength and aerobic fitness can take your love-making to the next level.
And, thankfully, there are workouts and fitness activities that can provide specific benefits for sexual performance. Put simply, they could make you better in bed.
Dr Myles Spar, chief medical officer of Vault Health, is an expert in integrative men’s healthcare and says fitness is a crucial element in improving sexual health, sexual performance and even boosting libido.
Here are Dr Spar’s top five exercises to boost libido and help you to be better in bed:
‘Science suggests lifting weights improves sex drive by encouraging your body to produce more testosterone,’ says Dr Spar.
‘Since healthy testosterone levels are associated with sexual desire, doing exercises that can increase testosterone may also amp up your libido.’
As well as the chemical benefits, lifting weights to become stronger may have psychological benefits too.
Studies have found that being strong and lifting weights helps to increase confidence – and nothing is sexier than that.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
‘HIIT is one of the most effective fat-burning workouts you can do, and it can also bump up your libido,’ says Dr Spar.
‘Intense cardiovascular exercise like HIIT is an excellent way to blow off steam because it lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.
‘Elevated cortisol has been shown to significantly reduce testosterone, so keeping your stress in check is crucial for maintaining a healthy sex drive.’
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A 2010 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control.
The study authors concluded that yoga appears to be an effective method of improving all domains of sexual functions in men.
‘Plus, because yoga involves stretching and getting your energy flowing, the practice has the potential to improve your libido and also helps with flexibility, which your partner(s) will likely appreciate,’ explains Dr Spar.
But it isn’t only men who can feel the benefits of yoga in the bedroom. In fact, there are plenty of specific yoga positions thought to have a positive effect on your sexual performance.
For example, the cat-cow pose lengthens the spine, and helps to widen the pelvis, which is thought to boost orgasms.
‘Want to enhance your endurance, build muscle, and get a great cardio workout? Go for a swim,’ suggests Dr Spar.
‘Perhaps unsurprisingly, the kind of fitness that comes from swimming regularly can really give you a leg up in the bedroom.
‘In a Harvard study of 160 swimmers, participants in their 60s reported sex lives comparable to average, non-swimming people in their 40s.’
Research has also suggested that swimming is a brilliant exercise to tone the pelvic floor muscles, which can heighten the sexual experience. Swimming also increases libido by reducing stress – one of the main causes of low libido.
We have been told of the benefits of kegel exercises time and time again, but they are also important for improving your sex life – for both men and women.
‘This squeezing of your pubococcygeus (PC) muscles – the ones you use to stop the flow of urine mid-stream – can lead to better sexual endurance and control,’ says Dr Spa.
For women, Kegel exercises may help to relax the vagina, making penetration more comfortable.
They might also improve vaginal lubrication, allow more blood to flow into the genitals, increase sexual arousal, and even make it easier to reach orgasm.
‘With all this exercise, don’t forget to rest,’ adds Dr Spar.
‘Remember it is possible to overdo it when it comes to exercise, and working out too hard may actually decrease testosterone. So don’t skip those rest days.’
Resting and listening to your body has never been more important. We are all coping with the stress of the pandemic and lockdown, so give yourself a break if you’re not always up for a strenuous workout.
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