Sexual health and your sex life should be discussed when talking about fitness, health, and wellness, to encourage exercise in sedentary people who are not motivated by the other benefits of an active lifestyle.
Aside from improved over-all health, recent studies have shown that exercise can improve one's sex life - meaning one's sexual relationships and activities.
Several studies have shown that lifestyle modification - controlling weight, exercising, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking - can help prevent erectile dysfunction.
In fact, Ridwan Shabsigh, director of the division of urology at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, requires exercise before resorting to medical options (like testosterone replacement) for middle-aged to older men with erectile dysfunction.
He recommends 200-210 minutes of cardio workout, and strength, flexibility and balance exercises.
A 2003 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that physical activity and leanness were the two factors required for good erectile function. And a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that weight gain can make a man susceptible to erectile dysfunction.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin revealed that women who exercised vigorously for 20 minutes increased their vaginal responses by 169 per cent. A study published in American Fitness showed that men had higher testosterone levels after short and intense bouts of exercise.
Exercise plays a major role in weight management, and normal weight can help one perform better during sex. If you can carry yourself well, you can easily have sex without discomforts like back pain caused by extra weight.
Having a high fitness level allows a high sexual capacity. If you have enough strength, endurance and flexibility, you can definitely satisfy your partner. But what exercises should you focus on to manage your weight?
Get enough cardio exercises like brisk walking, jogging, dancing or swimming for least 150 minutes per week, as recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. This type of exercise will help you sustain and enjoy sexual activity for longer periods.
Do strengthen training at least twice a week, focusing on exercises that target your major muscle groups like push-ups, squats and rows. You need to strengthen the lower body, low back, abdominals, chest, shoulders and back to hold various positions without getting easily fatigued.
Flexibility also plays a great part in sex. If you have tightness in a particular area like the back, hips and shoulders, then try a yoga class or make an effort to stretch more.
Your core muscles can be developed by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Perform Kegel exercises (the feeling of stopping the flow of your urine) several times a day or join a Pilates class, since its focus is on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Stress is considered as one of the main factors that can decrease sexual activity. Even light to moderate exercise can help relieve stress after a hard day's work.
It might be good to do stress-relieving exercises with your partner to increase the physical and emotional connection that may play an important role during sex.
Exercise can also help improve confidence, self-esteem and body image.
A healthy mental state plays a huge part in one's sexual performance. You become more secure, and this prevents tension and self-criticism during a sexual act.
Having feelings of insecurity (like feeling unattractive, overweight and weak) can lead to partner issues.