Thought about leading a healthier lifestyle but haven't gotten around to
doing it? Here's a possible incentive: Experts say people who are mentally and
physically fit are more likely to have good sex lives.
"If you feel good about yourself, you are in a better position to feel
good about relationships, including your sex life," says Karen Zager, PhD,
a psychologist in private practice in New York City.
"When one is not feeling well, and is exhausted, it can certainly have a
negative impact on the quality of one's sex life," says Saralyn Mark, MD, a
senior medical adviser at the Office on Women's Health.
By Liz Welch
Anna is sitting in a New York café, sipping an English Breakfast tea. Dressed in patterned tights and a black sweaterdress, the 20-something Smith College grad has auburn curls and big brown eyes. Pretty? Yes. Sexy? Sure. Sex addict? No way. But she's currently being treated for sex addiction, seeing a therapist once a week and attending daily support groups, after an affair last year almost ruined her marriage and landed her in sex rehab. "I always knew I focused too much on...
This may all seem intuitive, yet many people find the road to a fitter mind
and body to be bumpy, especially if it involves losing weight, starting an
exercise program, reducing stress, or getting enough sleep.
One big reward, though, is to look and feel better -- arguably a plus for
good romantic and sensual activities.
While there is no proven connection between a balanced diet and bedroom
performance, a poor diet can cause health problems that can possibly interfere
Studies show animals that get too few calories tend to have weakened immune
systems, says John Allred, PhD, professor emeritus of nutrition at Ohio State
University. He says illness can be a big hurdle for pleasurable
"If you have heart disease, then you might be taking medication that
would inhibit sexual activity, or you might be afraid to have a heart
attack," says Allred. "If you have the flu, a high fever, or just don't
feel good ... any of these things would be a turn-off."
Mark Kantor, PhD, associate professor of nutrition and food science at the
University of Maryland, agrees, saying, "You will feel sexy if you look and
A way to do that is to eat an overall balanced diet and to exercise each
day. The two go hand-in-hand, says Kantor, as demonstrated by today's obesity
problem, in which people eat too much food and aren't active enough.