Sex And Exercise

29 Sep

Turn Up The Passion With Fitness

Body Image

Body image is a difficult subject to pinpoint considering it does not have static meaning for everyone. There are many potential variables involved including ethnicity, culture and social-values that affect how one perceives his or her body. Paige Waehner, CPT, offers a comprehensive definition of body image as:

  • How one feels about how they look
  • How one sees them-self
  • How one thinks others see them
  • How one feels in their body

Poor body image can be a deal breaker. People with poor images of their bodies often have diminished self-esteem making it difficult to elicit the attitude and confidence necessary to stir sexual attraction in others.

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However, adding exercise could be the answer to quickly raising low self-esteem and/or enhancing a strained body image. To illustrate, strength gains can be seen from resistance workouts in only 1 to 2 weeks after starting a program. Adding cardio, flexibility and sensible eating habits can bring about noteworthy improvements in as little as 6 weeks. Thus, results from exercise can occur quickly.

People with good body images are likely to enjoy better sexual activity. “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. Simply put, exercise is good medicine for body image and lovemaking.


Exercise increases vascularization. What is that? Vascularization is an exercise related adaptation where networks of blood vessels open creating new routes for carrying blood within metabolically-active body structures. Vascularization is the most essential factor in building endurance and reducing fatigue in skeletal muscle (Magruder, Hatfield, Hughes 1996).

Essentially, vascularization can stimulate muscle and affect erectile-tissue circulation, which is intrinsic to penile/clitoral erection, sensitivity and pleasure. (Yes, women also get erections). Exercise helps the body pump and circulate blood more efficiency. The University of Austin Texas conducted a study which showed “physically active women who watched an X-rated film had 169% greater blood flow to the vagina compared to when they were inactive.” Exercise may also help individuals afflicted with Erectile Dysfunction (ED) to experience a more potent love life.

Stress Reduction

If improved body image and better circulation isn’t enough to motivate one to exercise, then stress reduction may make exercise more attractive. Life is filled with stressors. Deadlines, traffic jams, financial problems and more can cause monumental stress. Left unchecked, stress works havoc on health and sex life. Many folks just don’t feel sexy when stressed because it impairs physiological functioning. What‘s worst is many people are unaware that circuits are overloading.

Although sexual activity helps alleviate stress, a stressed-out mind makes it difficult to perform optimally in the bedroom. So to turbo boost sex life, it is wise to consider these 10 strategies for stress reduction as suggested by Elizabeth Scott, MS:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat right
  • Exercise
  • Maintain social support
  • Develop hobbies
  • Pamper oneself
  • Sharpen the mind
  • Have the right attitude
  • Process emotions
  • Maintain spiritual connectedness
  • An eleventh entry might read, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”

To summarize, “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.” Although exercise is not the panacea to all sexual ills, it is certainly a great place to start for receiving loads of healthy benefits.

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