Studies overwhelmingly support the direct link between fitness and libido. This link is caused by several factors. Immediately following resistance training and/or endurance training there can be a surge of testosterone in both males and females and research has shown that increased testosterone can also increase your sex drive. According to Chris Jones, head of physiology at Nuffield Health, “There is evidence that enhanced testosterone and adrenaline in men and women does enhance libido…What’s particularly interesting is that exercise also seems to have an effect on stopping the problems that lead to a decrease in libido,” he said. Testosterone response can vary widely from person to person and activity though, so unfortunately it isn’t an immediate answer to libido issues. There are other factors that come into play when dealing with increased sex drive. Sympathetic hormones can also play a part in this phenomenon, such as epinephrine (or adrenaline) which can make a person more energized. There are also opioids such as beta-endorphins which cause that “feel good” effect.
Aside from the aforesaid chemical activity many other players are involved.
Those who regularly exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle generally have a higher self-esteem due to a more positive self-image (when you look good, you feel good), cardiac endurance, strength level and studies have also concluded that those with higher metabolism tend to have higher levels of aggression. According to a study by Dr. Peter Biro – Senior Lecturer at the University of South Wales’s Evolution and Ecology Research Centre – his latest study shows that those who are more obsessed with staying fit may have higher sex drives and can also tend to be more aggressive and socially dominant.
Staying fit and healthy produces life enhancing side effects that can also play a role in the increase in sexual desire. Exercise can dramatically reduce stress in due partly to the chemicals responding inside your body during activity and the cardio vascular increase in endurance. This along with your body functioning more smoothly and sufficiently can cause you to have better sleep at night. Both high levels of stress and low amounts of sleep can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to get in the mood. Other studies have shown that regular exercise produces higher levels of blood flow to the genitals which can cause greater sensitivity and enjoyment during love making, thus making it more desirable.
Not only does fitness play a positive role in sexuality, but this activity you share with your spouse can also play a positive role on your fitness also. Researchers in Scotland have concluded that sex itself also reduces stress and can lower blood pressure. Engaging in sex one to two times per week has shown a link to higher levels of Immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that protects against colds and other infections.
Sex drive and fitness, forever linked.
Sources: Medical Research News, American Council on Exercise
Heather Bennett is a personal trainer and nutritional coach based in Austin, Texas.
She is a mom of two young kids and married for 16 years.
In 2014 she became Co-Promoter of the NPC Fort Wayne Flex Bodybuilding Championships in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Official NPC Judge.
Heather offers fitness programs and nutritional plans for clients across the country.
She can be contacted through her website, www.heatherbennetttraining.com