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Eat, Exercise, Relax, and Sleep Your Way to Better Sex

Better sex doesn't just involve technique. Keeping a fit mind and body can increase your enjoyment of bedroom antics.

Move That Body continued...

Need more positive reinforcement? Studies show that regular, moderate exercise can have a positive benefit on major sexual problems, such as ED in men and low libido in both men and women.

It only makes sense, say experts, since ED is often caused by poor blood flow to the penis, and exercise can improve the body's ability to pump and circulate blood throughout the body.

The same can be true for the ladies. In one University of Texas at Austin study, physically active women who watched an X-rated film had a 169% greater blood flow to the vagina compared with when they were inactive.

And there's more good news. Mark says exercise can promote the body's release of hormones important for sexual arousal, increase aerobic capacity and muscle strength, and boost self-body image -- all definite benefits for between-the-sheets play.

Sweet Dreams

For many of us, a good roll in the sack requires energy and the right mood -- elements that can be compromised when we are sleepy or tired.

While there is no direct relationship between slumber and better sex, a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) poll, conducted in 2002, shows people's moods can be affected by the amount of shut-eye they get.

People who sleep less than six hours are more likely to report they are tired, stressed, sad, and angry than those who sleep more than eight hours. On the other hand, those with few sleep problems tend to report they are "full of energy," "relaxed," and "happy."

In his practice, Russell Rosenberg, PhD, director of the Northside Hospital Sleep Medicine Institute in Atlanta, says chronic sleep-loss patients report not only being too physically tired for sex, but also having decreased libido.

Unfortunately, lower sex drive, tiredness, and grouchiness are the least of worries with sleep deprivation. Research shows people who don't catch enough winks tend to:

  • Get into more accidents. Inadequate sleep affects perception and motor skills.
  • Find it harder to lose weight. Not enough shut-eye can affect the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates.
  • Have an increased chance of a hormonal or metabolic disorder, which can indirectly put you at risk for medical problems such as type II diabetes and heart disease.

All of these consequences could undoubtedly put a damper on a person's sex life.

Rosenberg recommends trying to increase your total sleep time, even if it's just adding a half-hour or more per week. "Try it, and see how it affects your sex life," he says.

Relax

The brain may be the most important sex organ of all. It is perhaps in the mind where beliefs take hold and flourish about the effects of certain foods on sexual prowess, even as scientists deny any direct connection between diet and erotic fitness.

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