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Finding the motivation to exercise has eluded the masses for years. Only a small fraction of the population is privy to the experience known as “runner’s high,” and even fewer actually enjoy the “pain” that comes with pushing your body to its limits. But if exercise means having a better sex life, including increased stamina and better orgasms – would you be more inclined to sweat it out?

There is a proven direct link between sex and exercise. When you exercise, the brain produces endorphins that stimulate the release of sex hormones. These hormones reduce your heart rate, improve digestion, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels and relax the body. Oh, and you also might just feel primed and ready for a little one-on-one time in the bedroom.

Sexual benefits of fitness

Cardio: Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, rollerblading or even a pick-up game of basketball can rev up beta-endorphins, which will cause your heart to race and your blood to flow to all the right places. Engage in these activities with your partner, and you will find your desire almost doubles.

Strength: The cure for a low libido is lurking amid all the steel and iron at your local gym too. Strength training increases levels of growth hormone, which contributes to spikes in testosterone – the hormone of arousal. Including strength training into your routine two or three times per week, along with adequate sleep, has been shown to improve sexual arousal.

Yoga: The roots of yoga date back centuries, when the practice was used to stimulate a sexual awakening (also known as tantra.). Focusing your mind and tuning into your senses in a yoga class can work wonders for your sex life – not to mention, improve flexibility for trying new positions with your partner.

In general, engaging in physical activity improves self-esteem and immunity, helps you manage a healthy weight, and increases stamina and energy – all the ingredients for a healthy libido.

Battle of the sexes

A 2008 study conducted at Florida Atlantic University found that men and women who exercised frequently were more likely to rate themselves higher in regards to sexual performance and sexual desirability. However, these researchers found that the improvements in sexual health varied between the two sexes. Physical activity was shown to prime a woman’s body for sexual activity by making her more sensitive to touch and increasing the efficacy of stimuli, while men experience improved sexual function and better orgasms.

Burning calories in the bedroom

If sweating it out in the great outdoors or pumping iron in the gym sounds like the worst way to rev up your sex drive, there is good news: Sex is a workout. Spend enough time on foreplay and swapping positions, and you can torch as many as 100 calories over the course of a 30-minute session. During the act, you will experience an increase in metabolic rate, heart rate, muscle strength – and you may even relieve some stress. If you really want to make sex an effective workout, consider adding a few novelty items to your time in the bedroom, such as the sexercise ball, which adds a dynamic core workout to the mix.

There are countless benefits of exercise, and better sex just happens to be one of them. Next time you are considering skipping your workout, consider the impact it could have on your sex life – something you might deem worthy of going the extra mile.

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There’s a couple of startling similarities between a good, sweaty workout in the gym and those of a more intimate nature with one even helping improve performance during the other.

In fact, One study concludes that even small bouts of exercise can improve healthy sexual functioning.

From gym to bedroom

As we all know, sex is an essential part of human life, be it from a reproduction stance or simply pleasure. Yet studies show that unhealthy lifestyles are affecting the quality and quantity of lovin’ we are having in 2019:

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The’res a direct correlation to regular exercise and healthier sex lives. Photo:

“Men with a high body mass index (BMI) had a 30 per cent higher risk for erectile dysfunction than those with a healthy BMI. Half of obese men reported difficulty with sexual performance, while over 40% reported problems with sexual desire. Similarly, 40 per cent of obese women reported that they did not enjoy sexual activity.”

Coincidentally (or not), as 70 per cent of Australians admit to little (to no) exercise, Durex performed a study on 26 countries, and Australia was near the bottom of least sexually active. Just worse than Singapore.

Target muscles

If you’re into stamina and longevity both in and out of the gym, focus on glutes (your bum), hip flexors, abs, and quadriceps – get involved with squats, lunges, deadlifts, and planks. Increase the intensity with burpees and walking kettlebell goblet walks.

Push-ups are man’s best friend as a lean chest, stable shoulders, and nice triceps. Flexibility and breathing can always be handy too, so get involved with yoga or pilates.

Tabata-rotica

Sex therapists agree that sex lasting three-to-seven minutes is “adequate”, and sex between seven-to-13 minutes is “desirable”. Anything more (or less) isn’t doing the job. So, train your body with intensity within that five to 15 minutes range.

Ensure your cardio sessions consist of some high intensity movements. My favourite three are: skipping rope, running stairs, and the stationary rower. Even better, plan some body weight Tabata sessions: 20 seconds of movement (90-100 per cent effort), 10 seconds of rest until the clock hits four minutes. Try a Tabata session with push ups and squats, rest then follow it up with skipping rope and burpees.

Sometimes a hug will do

“Sex with my partner makes me feel good mentally.”

Of course it does, as you release oxytocin and endorphins – those feel-good hormones. Yet for many, depression and anxiety are a complicated hurdle in wanting to get intimate. For others a simple kiss, cuddle, hand holding, and extended hug with emotional support is what the mind / body requires. That 20 second hug is a real thing, as Harvard Health reported on the oxytocin link between hugging and lowering blood pressure.

But ultimately the message is simple: move your body, and get more lovin’. Sure, some are loved up in relationships where this is possible, but others are swiping on the dating app sushi-train. Plenty more struggle within their marriages and/or other insecurities and complications be it bodily or communication breakdown.

But there’s no doubt exercise breeds energy, and mind/body confidence, which all translates to healthier performance on the personal side. Start with putting on that lycra, stretching the body, getting physical and let me hear your body talk.

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his “Cut The BS” diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Best exercises for better sex

Being physically fit may not only make you feel more confident in the bedroom but could also help you perform better and get more enjoyment from sex. Your daily workout, though, probably doesn’t target the specific muscles you need for a nighttime workout. To that end, here’s a few excellent exercises to help improve your love life. They’re all easy to do, and the only “equipment” you’ll need is your own.

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Squats

Squats are good for the butt and the core. This move also gets the blood flowing to the “Southern tropics,” which can help you put you in the mood. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your arms straight out. Keep your feet full on the floor as you slowly lower into a sitting position. Your back should be neither rounded or over-arched. The lower you go, the more you work your gluteus maximus. Then slowly push up from your heels, keeping your abs tight.

Lunges

Exercise experts say that lunges build strength, endurance, balance, and core stability in the butt, hips, and thighs, which all come into play when engaging in sexual activity. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. With your back straight (but not tight), take one long step forward so that your knee is directly above your foot and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Your other foot should not be turned in any way. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then slowly push back to the original position. Repeat with the other leg.

Push-ups

Push-ups are good for the partner on top because this traditional exercise works the arms, shoulders, chest, and abs for better upper body support and stamina. Like any exercise, good form is key: With your hands just beyond shoulder-width apart, keep your legs, back, and neck in a straight line, and elbows at your sides, as you slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. Then slowly press your arms to push yourself back up again, but don’t lock your elbows. One down, 19 more to go for one set!

  • See Also: 5 exercises scientifically proven to boost libido

Pelvic lifts

This exercise strengthens the muscles you use most during intercourse—the glutes, and lower abdominal muscles—and helps maintain hip muscle balance. Pelvic lifts also build core strength and strengthen the lower back. Low back pain can affect your ability to perform in certain positions, and put a crimp in your libido as well. To do this exercise, lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Raise your pelvis so that your spine is in a straight line. Tighten your abs and glutes while you push your inner thighs toward each other. Hold that position for 10 seconds or more, breathing easily, then slowly lower your butt to the floor.

Cardio

Cardio is not only good for a healthy heart, it’s good for a healthy sex life. Regular cardiovascular workouts—whether running, swimming, cycling, or other heart rate-raising activity—can increase stamina, improve blood flow, and even lead to more satisfying orgasms. To help the heart and other “vital organs,” aim for 30 to 60 minutes of cardio exercise 3 to 5 times a week.

Kegels

Kegel exercises are recommended for both women and men to strengthen the pelvic floor and avoid incontinence, but this helpful exercise also improves sexual satisfaction, experts say. It’s the one exercise that directly targets and isolates the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle. For both men and women, strengthening the PC muscle can lead to more powerful orgasms. In men, Kegels can also produce firmer erections and may improve control of ejaculation. And once you get the hang of doing them, they’re easy to do and can be done anywhere. Here’s how: Contract your pelvic muscles as though you’re stopping the flow of urine. Don’t push down—squeeze your muscles tightly as if you’re trying to lift this muscle up. Hold tight for 5 seconds, breathing normally. Relax and then repeat. Aim for 20 Kegel exercises three or four times per day.

  • See Also: ‘More’-gasms reduce risk of prostate cancer

With a little focus, and these simple exercises, you could enhance your sexual stamina and performance. No equipment needed.

Every man wants to be a better lover.

For many men, the thought of being unable to provide a lasting and deeply fulfilling sexual experience for his partner is something that causes stress and anxiety.

You want to give the kind of sexual performance that has you hoping she’ll brag about it to her friends (instead of worrying she’ll be complaining to them).

Why Increasing Your Sexual Stamina Is Important

Sex is integral to a thriving relationship. It bonds you. It keeps you connected.

Muscles weaken over time and can atrophy from neglect… and this includes sex specific muscles.

Sexual confidence comes from sexual competence. By building up your skill set and your sexual stamina, you will enter the bedroom with a new sense of pride and conviction in your abilities.

Try out just a few of these tips and you (and your partner) will be noticing a difference in no time.

7 Exercises To Increase Your Sexual Stamina

Sexual stamina is not limited to the performance of your penis. Deep, transformational sex is a whole body experience and therefore requires your whole body to be fit and ready.

1. Tongue

Ever had your tongue or jaw cramp up during oral sex? You know it wasn’t fun for you and it definitely wasn’t for her.

Strengthen your jaw and tongue muscles by doing tongue push-ups. Push the underside of the tip of your tongue into the front of your hard palate (the front of the roof of your mouth, about half an inch behind your front teeth). Do this enough times with enough strength and it will become easier over time (giving you more sexual stamina for oral sex).

To take this exercise to the next level you can start putting hard-shelled chocolate candies (like Smarties, M&M’s, etc.) between your tongue and the hard palate and practice crushing them with your tongue’s force (or use grapes for a healthier alternative). But you have to make sure that, if you’re using the chocolates, you do it fast enough so that you’re exerting enough force and not just squishing them because they’ve warmed up in your mouth. Tasty and productive!

2. Forearm

Whether you’re propping yourself up for a position or stimulating her G-spot, your sexual stamina requires a certain amount of forearm strength.

If you haven’t already, pick up some free weights or a gym membership and bump up the weight on your forearm curls. You can do 1-2 sets of forearm curls on non-consecutive days per week and experience considerable gains within a month or two.

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3. Abs And Lower Back

Your abdominal and lower back muscles get used quite a bit in almost every sexual position.

Practice inverted curls, squats, deadlifts, planks, and pushups for greater overall ab and lower back strength.

4. Connect With Your Breath

We’ve all heard of the “Just think about baseball…” trick to avoid ejaculating too quickly. In reality, this trick doesn’t work. The less connected your mind is to your body, the less control you have over it.

You want to be extra aware of your sexual arousal levels. You want to put all of your attention on the pleasure you’re feeling.

An easier way to control your ejaculation is to focus on relaxing and breathing. Breathe deeply and allow all of your major muscle groups to relax. You ejaculate prematurely when you are anxious and tense; in other words, the “fight or flight” response in your body is triggered by your muscular tension. Avoid this by relaxing, extending foreplay, and breathing more deeply.

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5. Sleep

Your testosterone (the hormone that is largely responsible for your sex drive) is exclusively produced while you sleep. If you have consistently poor sleep (even a few nights of 4-6 hours will hurt you), your testosterone levels drop rapidly.

Keep as much artificial light away from your eyes as possible two hours prior to your bedtime. Sleep in as dark of a room as possible, and prioritize getting at least 7.5-8 hours of quality rest per night. Your testosterone production will increase from the improved sleep. The extra testosterone will give your sexual stamina a considerable boost.

6. Pelvic Floor Exercises

Ever heard of the PC muscle? The pubococcygeus (PC) muscle is a hammock-shaped muscle that stretches all the way from your pubic bone to your tailbone (it connects the two). It forms your pelvic floor and exists in both men and women. It is the muscle that you can engage when you are peeing to stop the flow of urine.

In many people, these muscles are largely ignored and they begin to weaken over time. Having a strong pelvic floor increases erectile strength, ejaculatory control, and the strength of your orgasms.

To get a greater awareness of your PC muscle, occasionally pulse and hold the muscle to give it a wake up call. Similar to the tongue strengthening exercise, you will feel it becoming easier over time. Start with quick pulses, move up to sets of ten two-second holds, and then after a few days see if you can do ten five-seconds holds without much of a break in between.

Keep this up and you’ll have a six pack in your pants in no time.

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7. PC Muscle Exercises On Steroids

The preceding exercises are great to get a relationship with your PC muscle, but you don’t build a muscle by going to the gym and flexing your arm for half an hour (not much of a muscle at least).

Muscles need to be challenged to grow. So how can you challenge your PC muscle to grow into a sub-waistline six pack?

Masturbate to arousal and drape a dry hand towel over your erection. With the towel in place, do penis push-ups by flexing your PC muscle and lifting the towel.

To increase the difficulty of this exercise, use a wet hand towel once you have mastered the dry hand towel push up. After that, you can upgrade to a small dry beach towel. These exercises are not for the faint of heart, but I promise, even doing five minutes a day one to two times per week will make a noticeable difference in erectile strength and ejaculatory control in less time than you think. Try it out and see what results you experience.

Sexual Stamina Building Bonus Tips

Not only do you need muscular stamina for sex, but cardiovascular endurance and flexibility are necessary to improve your bedroom prowess.

For cardio, aim to sweat a minimum of three times per week outside of the bedroom. Whether you achieve this through running, speed-walking, rock climbing, or whatever you find the most fun, it’s up to you.

As for flexibility, men tend to store a lot of tension in their hips and lower back. Look into different styles of yoga to see what could help your body relax for more enjoyable sex. If you’re not sure where to start, look up hip opening stretches online.

Also, don’t neglect your diet. Loading up your body with stimulants and depressants on a daily basis (in the form of caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol, or cigarettes) has far-reaching negative effects on your health and (more importantly) your libido. Cut back on the coffee. You will feel much more awake with the surge of testosterone coursing through your veins than the artificial, short-term buzz that caffeine gives you.

Going The Distance

On average, women take longer to reach their peak levels of sexual arousal during foreplay and intercourse. They also tend to take longer to reach orgasm.

By increasing your sexual stamina, you allow your partner the space and freedom she needs to fully open up to you so you can share the kind of thriving sex life you both deeply crave.

Want her to brag about your sexual performance to her friends and be a total rock star in the bedroom? Check out Supercharge Your Sex Life.

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– Supercharge Your Sex Life (video series for men)

– The Best Sex Toy For Men, Ever (Use This Sex Toy To Build Sexual Stamina)

– 5 Sex Toys That Every Couple Should Own (Seriously)

– How To Strengthen Your Penis For Better Sex (Lasting Longer And Harder)

– How To Cultivate Light And Dark Sexual Energy

Want to improve the quality of your sex life—or just have better luck getting in the mood? Start with fitness! Our experts share the moves they recommend most for ramping things up in the bedroom.

Squats

You already know this move as a terrific leg and butt toner, but did you know that it can also get the blood flowing to the places that may energize your libido? “Sometimes your heart might be there, but you don’t feel anything in the ‘southern hemisphere,'” explains Debbie Mandel, MA, a stress and fitness expert and the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman’s 7-Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. “Many women need a little physical help with arousal to get blood flowing to the genitalia.” She suggests squats. With your feet spread shoulder-width apart, “make sure your heels stay on the floor as you ‘sit’ on an imaginary chair,” she explains. “The lower you squat, the more you recruit your glutes and reap the benefits. Push off from your heels and hold your abdominals in tightly .” Do them slowly, aiming for 15 to 30 reps. Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Happy Baby Pose

Limberness goes hand in hand with great sex—after all, who wants to deal with aching legs or a stiff lower back while in the heat of the moment? That’s why Marta Montenegro, MF, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, a fitness expert and the creator of the fitness DVD series Montenegro Method, suggests certain stretches to prepare you for agility between the sheets. “One of the most common reasons for lower back pain is tight hamstrings and hip flexors,” she says. “Also, after spending eight hours asleep, there is a natural inflammation of the spinal discs due to the increase of the homeostatic pressure.”

The happy baby pose to the rescue! “It will stretch the spine while loosening up the adductor muscles and the hamstrings, which are heavily compromised in traditional positions such as the missionary,” she says. Lie on your back with your knees bent toward your chest. Grasp the outside of each foot with your hands, allowing the knees to drop down toward the floor. Align your ankles with your knees so that the shins are perpendicular to the floor. Apply downward pressure with your hands to encourage deeper opening. You can allow the tailbone to curl up off the floor slightly to decompress the lower back. Hold the pose for three to five minutes. Photo: Thinkstock

Pelvic Tilts

Want a move that will strengthen the muscles you use most during intercourse? Try the pelvic tilt. “Women tend to suffer from lower back pain, and this sometimes affects sexual positions as well as desire,” says Mandel. “Pelvic tilts give you a bonus of core strength and strengthening the lower back.” Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Raise your pelvic region in a straight line like a bridge. Hold your abdominals in while you tighten your glutes and push your inner thighs toward each other. Slowly lower to the floor and repeat, 20 to 25 reps, if possible. Photo: Ruth Jenkinson/Getty Images

Biceps Curls

How can you get toned, gorgeous arms and also boost your sex drive? Grab your hand weights and work in 15 to 20 reps of biceps curls! Here’s why: “Medical studies show that testosterone plays a role in sexual drive in both men and women,” explains Mandel. “Giving a woman with low libido testosterone is controversial, and could lead to undesirable side effects,” she says. “However, strength training increases levels naturally and is healthy too. The testosterone levels that are generated create the tipping point for desire.” And don’t worry—weightlifting is not going to give you facial hair or a lower voice. The testosterone that’s released is at healthy, natural levels. Photo: RUNSTUDIO/Getty Images

Tandem Stationary Lunges

Past research has indicated that couples who exercise together have better sex. So why not do a few moves with your guy? Mandel suggests the tandem lunge. “A romantic variation of the traditional stationary lunge: Hold your partner’s left hand with your right and together do five lunges, with the same legs forward so that you don’t bump into each other.” Need a stationary lunge primer? With one leg forward and one leg back, slowly bend the knees as if you’re trying to kneel down and touch one knee to the ground (but don’t let it touch), keeping both knees at 90-degree angles. Aim for two sets of five repetitions on each side—gradually increasing to 10. Photo: Image Source/Getty Images

Kegel Exercises

When it comes to fitness, Kegels count too! These pelvic-floor-strengthening exercises that your ob-gyn is always encouraging you to do can have big payoffs when it comes to sexual satisfaction, says Tone It Up cofounder Karena Dawn, a certified personal trainer in Los Angeles. “Kegels consist of contracting and relaxing the muscles in your pelvic floor,” she explains. “Improving the strength of these vaginal muscles is beneficial for greater sexual satisfaction and stronger orgasms, as well as preventing urinary or bowel incontinence and pelvic prolapse in women.” To do a proper Kegel, tighten your pelvic muscles (the ones that control the start and stop of urine). Hold for about 5 seconds, relax and then repeat. Dawn recommends doing Kegels for at least 5 minutes every day. (Psst! You can do them anywhere—even right now—and no one will know but you!) Photo: Thinkstock

Ab Rolls

The core is compromised of more than 20 muscles, and working them “will give you the strength to support your man’s weight without hyperextending your back,” says Montenegro. “A great exercise that works both the core and the muscles of the upper body is the roll-in, roll-out on a stability ball.” Start with your hands fully extended on the floor in a push-up-like position. Place your shins on a stability ball, keeping your back straight. Roll the ball in toward your chest and back out, using the abdominals to drag your knees toward your chest and to push your feet back out. Keep your back flat and hips tight, and don’t move your upper body. Do three sets of 10 reps. Photo: iStock

Plank Pose

Is there one move that can make you more sexually confident, daring and strong? Yes: the plank, a core-building exercise popular in yoga, says Madeleine Castellanos, MD, a psychiatrist who specializes in sexual medicine and sex therapy in New York City. “This exercise works upper arms, abdominals, obliques, thighs and buttocks,” she says. “These are important muscles that help stabilize you when you are engaged in intercourse on all fours, any position where the woman is on top, or in transition from one position to another while maintaining close genital contact with your partner.” Lay facedown with the palms of your hands flat on the floor on each side of your shoulders. In this position, your forearms should also be flat on the floor and will act as your support when you raise your body. Push your weight to the balls of your feet as you push up onto your forearms and palms so that your entire body is suspended in the air. Be careful to keep your body as straight and flat as possible, and avoid lifting your hips in the air. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax for a few seconds before repeating; do three sets of 10 reps. Photo: iStock

Bridge Pose

Another yoga pose that can improve your sexual enjoyment is the bridge pose. “This exercise helps strengthen the lower back, gluteus muscles and hamstrings,” says Dr. Castellanos. “It helps enhance a woman’s sexual experience because it increases her strength and endurance in these muscles, which are used to create resistance during a man’s thrusting, thereby increasing the intensity of the thrust.” Start out lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lay your arms to the side of your body, lift your hips up in the air and squeeze your gluteus muscles. Continue to press upward until just your upper back/shoulders, arms and feet are touching the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds, breathing normally, then slowly lower back down to the floor and relax for a few seconds before repeating again. Aim for three sets of 10 reps each. Photo: Thinkstock

Seated Leg Extensions

Do your thighs quiver during and after sex—but not in a good way? “The large muscles of the thighs are often used during sex and can get fatigued quickly since they are such a large muscle group,” says Dr. Castellanos. The solution: seated leg extensions. “Find a stable chair in which you can sit up straight and have your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor,” she says. “While keeping your thigh and knee as steady as possible, lift one foot up to straighten your leg slowly, then bring it back down to the floor. Do three sets of 10 reps for each leg. Photo: Thinkstock

Sarah Jio is the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. Visit her blog, Vitamin G.

Up Next: Eat Your Way To Flat Abs

Do erectile dysfunction exercises help?

Share on PinterestExercise may treat the some of the causes of ED.

Pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, are the most beneficial for ED.

These exercises target the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, and particularly one called the pubococcygeus. This loops from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the pelvic organs.

When this muscle weakens, it is unable to prevent blood from flowing out of the erect penis.

Performing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen and improve tone in the pubococcygeus. It can take 4–6 weeks before a person notices a difference in erections.

1. Activating pelvic floor muscles

This exercise is simple but important. It teaches a person to activate their pelvic floor muscles.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Exhale and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three.
  • Inhale and release for a count of three.
  • Take time identifying the right group of muscles — those at the bottom of the pelvis. It can be easy to accidentally contract other muscles instead, particularly those of the stomach, buttocks, or legs.

2. Sitting pelvic floor activation

  • Sit with the arms at the sides and the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Using the same technique as above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
  • Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.

3. Standing pelvic floor activation

  • Stand straight with the arms by the sides, and the feet hip-width apart.
  • Using the technique above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
  • Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.

Once a person is comfortable performing Kegel exercises three times a day, it can help to add exercises that involve more movement.

Pilates exercises to try

These Pilates exercises activate the right group of muscles and challenge a person to maintain pelvic floor strength while moving.

4. Knee fallouts

This is a beginners’ exercise that involves small movements.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Keep the spine in a neutral position, with a small space between the middle of the back and the floor.
  • Exhale, squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, and slowly lower one knee to the floor. Only lower it as far as possible while maintaining activation of the pelvic floor muscles. Keep the pelvis stable.
  • Inhale, release the muscles, and bend the knee again.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Start with four or five repetitions on each side and build up to 10.

5. Supine foot raises

This exercise builds on knee fallouts and involves small movements.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Exhale, engage the pelvic floor muscles, and slowly raise one foot off the floor. Keep the pelvis and the spine still.
  • Inhale, lower the foot back to the ground.
  • Alternate sides.

6. Pelvic curl

This exercise is common in Pilates.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Keep the spine in a neutral position, with a small space between the middle of the back and the floor.
  • Exhale, and engage the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Tilt the pelvis upward toward the belly button, while pressing the back flat against the floor.
  • Slowly lift the buttocks and push the heels into the floor.
  • Squeeze the buttocks while lifting it and the lower and middle back.
  • The body’s weight should be resting on the shoulders.
  • Take three breaths and squeeze the buttocks and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Slowly lower the buttocks and back, vertebra by vertebra, to the floor.
  • Repeat three to four times initially, and build up to 10 repetitions.

There’s now evidence that more cardio is linked to better orgasms in women and less erectile dysfunction in men

  • A new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that people who did more intense cardio also had less sexual dysfunction, like erectile dysfunction or inability to feel aroused.
  • The researchers asked people who biked, swam, or ran for exercise, or did a combination, to take a survey about their sexual health.
  • They found that men who exercised enough to burn over 8,260 calories per week had a lower risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Women who worked out more often were more satisfied with their orgasms and were more easily able to get sexually aroused.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

If your go-to workout involves running, swimming, or biking, your sex life may be benefiting.

A new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that people who spent more time doing those cardio workouts had fewer physical sex problems, like erectile dysfunction for men or inability to feel aroused for women, than people who swam, biked, or ran less frequently.

To test this, researchers had 3,906 men and 2,264 women who biked, swam, or ran for exercise complete a survey. The participants came from various countries, including the United States, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and were all older than 18 years old. The average age for both men and women was over 40 years old.

In the survey, researchers asked questions about how often participants worked out each week, the distance and speed at which they exercised, and whether they had partaken in one of the three exercises methods or a combination of them.

The researchers also asked men if they’d ever experienced erectile dysfunction and how often, and asked women to rate their orgasm satisfaction, plus how easy or difficult it was for them to get sexually aroused.

Men who burned over 8,000 calories each week had lower risks of erectile dysfunction

The researchers found that men who logged more time exercising each week had lower chances of erectile dysfunction.

In fact, men who worked out enough to burn more than 8,260 each week had a 22% less chance of erectile dysfunction compared to men who burn fewer calories. The researchers said this caloric loss is equal to about 10 hours of cycling at 26 kilometers per hour over a week’s time.

Read more: 4 ways you could increase your chances of having an orgasm

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The women researchers surveyed also reported more sexual satisfaction if they logged more cardio time.

Women who worked out more often over a week’s time said they were more satisfied with their orgasms than women who worked out less. The women who worked out more also reported being able to get aroused more easily.

For women, arousal happens when the genitals feel tingly and begin to swell and the vagina releases lubrication. Arousal can also include feelings of excitement, according to the American Sexual Health Association.

The researchers noted that for both men and women, it didn’t matter whether they biked, ran, or swam — all of the activities helped to boost participants’ sex drives if done often.

“Thus, in addition to encouraging sedentary populations to begin exercising as previous studies suggest, it also might prove useful to encourage active patients to exercise more rigorously to improve their sexual functioning,” the study authors wrote.

There were some caveats to the study, like the fact that participants’ answers were self-reported and they could’ve lied or inaccurately recorded how often they experienced erectile dysfunction or sexual dissatisfaction. The researchers also noted that they only looked at physically active people, so their results don’t apply to people who live largely sedentary lifestyles.

The study still adds to existing evidence suggesting that regular cardiovascular exercise has benefits that go beyond appearances, like improved heart health, a better mood, and now, fewer sexual health issues and better orgasms.

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Picture this: A wellness freelance writer (who sometimes writes about sex) goes on a date (errr, coffee hang, shall we say) with a muscle-bound CrossFit coach. As we walk to grab a cup of Joe, I attempt awkward small talk with the Fabio-bodied man, telling him that: “I’ve been researching supplements you can take to boost your libido!” (Yes, my voice said it in a tone deserving of an exclamation point. Smoooooth.). Like the first-date trooper he is, he doesn’t take this flub with any sort of insinuation. Instead, he tells me that, as a personal trainer and coach, he likes to talk to his clients about their libido, saying that sudden on-set low libido can be a sign of poor recovery.

Now, he has my attention, I’ll tell you that for sure. But, I wonder: A) How true this is and B) If this is just the case for men, who, after all, are better-studied than women. I’d read headlines in the past that stemmed from a study done on men’s sex drives and working out, which found that exercise can decrease desire. The caveat of the findings? It’s only if it’s really, really strenuous and prolonged exercise (however, other studies like this one and this one have shown that working out boosts testosterone and libido in men—especially those who are sedentary or do very little physical activity). But given CrossFit’s reputation for being hardcore, it’s not too surprising that my “pal” (don’t @ me, dating is confusing) jumped to the conclusion that he should ask if his athletes are experiencing lower libido.

And in all of this my question remains: What about women? So here’s all the intel about a woman’s libido and her fitness regimen.

Photo: Stocksy/ Brkati Krokodil

What to know about women’s libido and exercise

According to One Medical Provider, Natasha Bhuya MD, it’s hard to know what the research on men means for women, exactly. “For women in particular, libido is multifaceted: it’s physical, mental, and physiological.” So yeah, we can’t just assume blanket conclusions are the same between the sexes. In fact, for women, exercise might actually boost libido. One October 2018 study published in in the journal Sexual Medicine Review, for instance, found that exercise benefits the body in complex ways—physically, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally—that can then translate into a revved up libido.

But can exercise have the opposite effect on women’s libido, too? TBH because of a lack of research, experts say it’s still hard to say exactly what relationship between exercise and women’s libido is. For instance, Lauren F. Streicher, MD, medical director at Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause isn’t convinced there’s a relationship between exercise and libido for women at all. “The list of things that impacts women’s libido and cause low libido is very long, but exercise isn’t specifically on that list,” she says. “The only reason I can think that exercise would decrease libido is that someone who spends all day exercising would probably be too tired to have sex.” Touché.

So, where does all of this net out in terms of having a convo with your trainer if you find a correlation between your sex drive and fitness routine? First, it’s important to remember that most coaches and trainer are just that— which means that they’re not doctors, hormone experts, or sex-perts. In clinical sexologist Megan Stubbs, Ed.D.opinion: “It never hurts to ask your fitness coach, or share what’s going on with you outside of the gym…especially if the timelines match up. Maybe you really are going too hard at the gym.” But, she says that conversation shouldn’t replace the convo you have with your doctor or with your partner.

The bottomline is that women’s libido—and how exercise effects libido specifically— is complicated. If you notice a major dip, consider talking to your trainer, but definitely talk to your doc. But because your gym time is more likely to improve your sex life (and might even help you meet potential partners at your fitness studio or CrossFit box). Bring on the weights.

Did you know, certain forms of yoga have always been connected to sex. Oh and try these yoga poses for better sex.

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Until recently, we knew relatively little about how exercise might affect a man’s sex drive. But a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published in February 2017 sheds some light on this issue. It determined that men who exercised most strenuously were likely to have lower sex drive than those whose workouts were less intense.

It is unlikely, however, that these results will be the final word on the subject. The study was conducted by recruiting men through university athletic departments, groups that train men for triathlons and for running and cycling competitions as well as through publications aimed at endurance athletes. Men who agreed to participate were asked to download and respond to online questionnaires that asked about their sexual behavior, exercise habits and general health. A total of about 1,100 men responded to the questionnaires. Most were experienced, competitive athletes who had been training for years.

The researchers found that the men who described moderate or light intensity workouts were much more likely to have a high or moderate sex drive, while those who reported the most intense workouts had lower libido. The assessments were based on responses to a questionnaire that asked how often they thought about or engaged in sex. Age played a role here, too, although the older men’s answers suggested that their libido was not much lower than that of younger men in the study.

We don’t know that the answers reflected objective consideration. At best this study reveals an association between intense and prolonged exercise and male sex drive. It doesn’t prove that exercise was responsible for the lower sex drive among the men who reported performing it most strenuously.

And we don’t know why intense exercise should have this effect. Study leader Anthony Hackney, a professor of exercise physiology and nutrition, was quoted in news reports as saying that fatigue and lower testosterone levels after a long, exhausting workout might play a role. He and his team plan to study the interactions between exercise, hormone levels and sex drive in men to determine whether the duration or the intensity of exercise has the most impact, if any, on male libido.

We’ve known for some time that prolonged and intense exercise can lead to hormonal problems in women athletes, causing menstrual dysfunction, decreased interest in sex, and impaired ability to conceive. Fortunately, easing off intense activity usually is corrective.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Source:

A.C. Hackney et al, “Endurance Exercise Training and Male Sexual Libido.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, February 13, 2017, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001235

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After a long sweaty workout, you may crave a hot shower and a protein shake. Or you may be open to getting physical in a different way.

If you’ve ever felt a tad lusty at the gym—despite the poor lighting and funky smells, of course—you’re not alone. Studies suggest that a man’s testosterone levels often shoot up during a workout, causing them to be more attracted to those around them. So, with each squat or bicep curl, men are producing more of the hormone that revs up their libido.

In a 2012 study of women, researchers found a direct correlation between exercise and the female orgasm. “The most common moves associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weight lifting,” Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, told Top News. In Herbenick’s study, published in a special issue of the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, some 40 percent of women had experienced exercise-induced orgasm (without any sexual fantasizing) or exercise-induced sexual pleasure, on more than 10 occasions.

Running and other high-intensity exercises may rev your libido by sending signals to your brain that release beta-endorphins, those mood-elevating brain chemicals, causing increased blood flow throughout your body—including to your private parts.

A boost in sexual appetite may also come from some of our most obvious senses: sight: Watching a man or woman pumping iron and breaking into a sexy, glistening sweat–check! Sound: Hearing a fellow gym-goer working hard, emitting sounds similar to what they would in the bedroom–check! Smell: Research shows that raw body odors elicit romantic feelings or other feelings of attraction–check!

Don’t miss these other expert tips to make sex great again.

Does exercise help your sexlife

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