People often say that sex is one of the best forms of exercise. But does that mean doing regular excessive workout routines outside of the bedroom can actually have a negative impact on your sex life? Let us take a closer look at the relationship between sex drives and exercise.
According to a 2017 study conducted by the University of North Carolina, men who do regular high-intensity workouts tend to have lower sexual libidos than men who do lower-intensity workouts on a regular basis. The study involved 1,077 men over the age of 18 who were cyclists, runners, or amateur endurance athletes. They were surveyed about things like sexual activity, sexual history, arousal, desire, and more. Each man’s sexual appetite was divided into high, moderate, or low. The researchers concluded that many of the men who reported having a low sex drive were too tired or uninterested in sex. The study also found men who worked out for shorter periods of time wanted more sex. Although the study only looked at how excessive exercise impacts men’s sex lives, the researchers said there is no reason to suspect that women’s sexual libidos were any different.
Men may be worried that excessive exercise could impact their ability to get and maintain an erection. However, according to a 2006 study, published by Harvard Medical School in 2011, which involved 22,086 men between the ages of 40 and 75, men who ran for an hour and a half a week or did three hours of rigorous workouts per week were actually 20% less likely to develop erectile dysfunction compared to those who did not work out at all. So, thankfully too much exercise does not seem to create erectile problems. But even if it did, there are now products like Viagra and Cialis that are helping men with erectile dysfunction.
Intense exercise can cause a decrease in estrogen and progesterone, which can lead women to have reduced sexual libidos. Plus, for both women and men, it simply makes logical sense that people who work out too much can be too exhausted to perform well in the bedroom. Furthermore, overtraining can decrease testosterone levels, which can lower libidos and affect the sex drive both in the short term and long term.
Although too much exercise can lower testosterone levels, regular moderate exercise can actually increase testosterone levels, thus boosting sex drives. According to a 1990 study by the University of California, men who regularly but moderately exercised significantly enhanced their sexual performances. The same goes for women. According to a study published in 2008 by the University of Texas, regular exercise increases the physiological arousal in women, meaning women are more likely to have high sex drives after working out compared to those who do not exercise.
Furthermore, it is well known that stress can lower your sex drive and even create erectile dysfunction in men. But exercise is an excellent solution for decreasing stress as it produces feel-good endorphins and lowers cortisol levels. Therefore, by regularly working out, you can become less stressed, and in turn, you can have a higher sex drive. Also, cardio workouts, such as swimming, running, walking, and cycling, are excellent for improving blood circulation. By having good blood circulation, men are less likely to experience erectile problems. Regular exercise also helps both men and women to become stronger and more flexible, which certainly helps sexual performance.
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