When you put in effort at the gym, good things follow: a fitter body, more energy, decreased stress and better sex. That last one doesn’t get talked about as much as some of the other benefits of regular exercise, but it’s true—if you want to turn your bedroom bliss up a notch, make your workouts a priority. Here’s why:
1. The better you feel physically, the better you’ll feel about intimacy. When you look good, you feel good. Those who exercise often are more likely to rate their sexual desirability as high, according to a study published in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality.
2. You’ll have improved blood flow where it counts. Healthier arteries can more easily and quickly deliver blood all over your body, including to the heart, the brain…and the nether regions. Men will benefit from stronger erections, while women will experience increased arousal.
3. You can sharpen your focus. A mind wandering to thoughts of today’s meeting at work or racing through tomorrow’s to-do list can make sex less than satisfying, but workouts like yoga and Pilates can help you learn how to concentrate and focus on only what’s happening in the present.
4. You can get more creative. Always wanted to try that position that requires you to support both your and your partner’s body weight, lift your leg over your head, and run in place for 20 minutes without losing your breath? Okay, so that’s not a real thing (that we know of!), but the more strength, flexibility and endurance you have, the more varied—and interesting—your positions can be.
5. When you exercise, age is nothing but a number. Older men who break a sweat on a regular basis are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than those who consider a workout the walk from the couch to the fridge; they also have better erections and a lower percentage of impotence.
6. More exercise = more sex. Whether it’s because you have more energy, feel better about your body, or love the rush of endorphins you get from both hitting the gym and hitting the sheets, you’re likely to have more sex the more you work out. It’s not just quantity, though, but quality—and studies show that exercise ups both.