Gush on and on about the usual benefits of regular exercise -- helping to
keep blood pressure at normal levels, weight control, and overall well-being --
and before long even the dedicated exercisers within earshot will be stifling
But drop just a hint about how regular workouts can improve life in the
bedroom, and you've got the attention of even the most stubborn couch
By Gretchen Voss
You'd never buy a car without test-driving it first, right? So why settle
into a lifelong marriage before trying one on for size?
"I'm just really not ready to be committed like this." That's what
Andi said to Tucker, her husband of 11 months, after she came home from a crazy
day at work two years ago with an overwhelming urge to quit her marriage.
Today. Right now. "This just isn't for me."
She spoke stoically — no tears, no histrionics. She had been imagining...
So is it true? If you're in good physical shape from months or years of
regular workouts, does it really mean you'll have better sex?
The Workout-Sex Connection
Richard Cotton, an exercise physiologist and spokesman for the American
Council on Exercise in San Diego, Calif., can't point to any particular
scientific study that tracked gym visits and nights of romance. But he says the
link between exercise and sex makes perfect sense.
Here's why. There are three primary components of fitness, he says:
"Endurance, strength, and flexibility. If you are in shape, you have more
aerobic endurance, muscular strength, and overall flexibility -- all of which
can aid a person during sex. Not to mention, if you are in shape you will
reduce your risk of injury during sex -- such as pulling a muscle."
Study after study has shown that people who are physically fit are less
likely to let stress bother them. A study published in November 1999 in the
Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that college students who exercised
regularly were better able than their non-exercising classmates to take life's
daily stresses in stride. If you rarely feel stressed out, it follows that
you'll rarely be too cranky for sex. And when you're less stressed, you can be
much more focused on improving your sex life.
People who are out of shape are often less motivated to have sex. They tend
to tire more easily, and have a lower sex drive and less stamina than folks who
Exercise can also have profound effects on your mind, improving your feeling
of well-being. And when you're feeling happy, you're feeling sexy. There's also
the extra benefit that when your mood's elevated, your optimistic outlook will
translate into bedroom satisfaction.
Breath control is an important part of good sex, and that, too, is built up
by regular exercise. More generally, the discipline of exercising on a regular
basis helps a person feel in control of his or her life -- both the passions
and the daily grind.
To reap all these benefits, of course, you've got to be a consistent
exerciser. So pick an activity you enjoy and that you can do on a regular
basis. Then stick with it. As you begin to see the results of your fitness
efforts, you'll start to feel good about yourself. Exercise not only makes the
body more fit for sex but also stimulates the mind and makes you feel