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Love Connection – Sex and Exercise

It’s Valentine’s Day and hearts are the topic. Everyone knows exercise is good for your heart so I won’t put you sleep with yet another reading of the heart-healthy benefits of exercise. Instead, Valentine's Day Couplewith love in the air, the topic is how better fitness equates with a better sex life. (And it has nothing to do with appearance.)

The research continually piles up supporting how exercise enhances our enjoyment of sex. But, before highlighting the research, doesn’t it just make intuitive sense? Exercise improves anything we do that is physical in life: yard work, sports, shopping, and yes, sex.

The physical movements required in intercourse are of a nature and duration that they typically require appreciable levels of core strength and general fitness. And better fitness from exercise means better blood flow – to the muscles, organs, and all extremeties.

Now for a look at some of the research. (As reported by Marion Webb of ACE – the American Council on Exercise.)


Men who initiated physical activity in midlife had a 70% reduced risk for erectile dysfunction relative to those who remained sedentary. A brisk two-mile walk a day, burning 200 calories per day was sufficient to produce this effect. (American Medical Association)

This is also in line with epidemiological evidence that physical activity was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of erectile dysfunction while obesity was associated with a 30 percent higher risk of erectile dysfunction, the journal reported.


In women, researchers found that self-body image and actual body size play vital roles in sexual functioning. According to a study published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly, obese women had lower body satisfaction and sexual desire, fewer erotic fantasies, and less autoeroticism and sexual motivation than normal-weight women. Women with a higher BMI were found less likely to be in a dating relationship and had fewer sexual experiences than women with lower BMIs.

Another study found that university students who had a positive self-body image reported better sexual functioning even after controlling for BMI and exercise. (Angela D. Weaver and E. Sandra Byers from the University of New Brunswick in Canada)

Many women have already discovered that regular workouts combined with a healthy diet boost self-confidence and with it mental and physical health.

Both Genders

According to Cedric Bryant, ACE’s Chief Science Officer, “physical improvements in muscle strength and tone, endurance, body composition, and cardiovascular function (specifically, enhanced peripheral blood flow) can all enhance sexual functioning” in both men and women.

When our bodies function closer to their full physical potential, everything gets better. Food for thought today, and every day!

Jonathan Ross,

CalorieKing Fitness Expert