Studies Show Exercise Can Spice Up Your Sex Life

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Exercise and Sexual Function

ACE Reminds the Nation That Exercise Improves Sexual Function in Men and Women

Want to heat up your sex life and don't know how? This year for Valentine's Day forget the box of chocolates or flowers and head to the gym for a workout with your partner. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's non-profit fitness advocate, points out numerous studies that show a direct correlation between exercise and improved sexual function.

"A growing body of evidence supports the notion that regular exercise may enhance sexuality through a variety of mechanisms that affect both the mind and body," said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for ACE. "Physical improvements in muscle strength and tone, endurance, body composition and cardiovascular function (specifically, enhanced peripheral blood flow) can all enhance sexual functioning. Be careful not to over-train; too much exercise can actually decrease testosterone levels leading to a less-robust sexual appetite."

  • In October 2004, an article appearing in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality concluded that individuals who exercise regularly feel better about themselves, perceive they are more sexually desirable and experience greater levels of satisfaction.


  • In the June 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the University of Naples reported that lifestyle modifications, namely a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise, improve erectile dysfunction in obese men.

  • The August 2003 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine published results of a study that found exercise can add years to a man's sex life and lower chances of impotence. Researchers looked at men over the age of 50 and found those who were physically active reported better erections with a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than men who were inactive.

  • An article printed in the February 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association shows exercise helps increase sexual potency because it strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves circulation. Good circulation is necessary for sexual function whereas obesity, smoking or heavy alcohol use can hamper this effect.

"Sexual function is affected by general health and the more you can do to improve your health with physical activity, the better your sex life can be," said Bryant. "Exercise has psychological benefits as well such as stress reduction, improved self-esteem, elevated mood and increased confidence that can also contribute to a more enriched sex life."

ACE also recognizes "American Heart Month" this February and encourages the nation to get active to keep their hearts healthy for years to come.