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.
By Nicole YorioPeek into the lives of happy couples and find out how these four love moves
will bring the two of you closer than ever.
What do couples who describe their marriages as spectacular do differently
than those who describe their marriages as simply so-so? The differences are
quite small, actually. "When we look at happy couples, we see that great
marriages are not the result of hours of hard work," says relationship
researcher Terri L. Orbuch, Ph.D., who followed 373 couples for...
"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.
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 with sex.
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 feel good."
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
Move That Body
Being physically active can be a natural Viagra boost,
according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), which recommends 20 to 30
minutes of moderate exertion a day.
"Men and women who exercise regularly are going to have
increased levels of desire," says Cedric Bryant, PhD, ACE's chief exercise
physiologist. "They're going to have enhanced confidence, enhanced ability
to achieve orgasm, and greater sexual satisfaction."
If that isn't motivation enough to work out, consider this:
Researchers have found that there is a correlation between waist size and a
man's odds of having erectile dysfunction (ED). The larger the man's waist
size, the greater his chance of having ED (because of a higher risk of
underlying cardiovascular disease).