When life gets busy, it’s easy to let exercise fall out of your regular routine. But we have some potentially motivating news that may encourage you to keep exercise in your day-to-day life. In addition to a tremendous number of health benefits, exercise may also boost your sex life by increasing arousal, desire, and satisfaction. Sex boosts sexual function for number of reasons, such as by increasing blood flow, improving strength and stamina, and increasing levels of testosterone, which may potentially increase sex drive.
With that in mind, here are six exercises to improve your sex life:
Go for a jog or bike ride.
Cardiovascular exercise improves your blood flow, including to the regions you experience sexual pleasure. Research shows that cardiovascular exercise can increase pleasure for men and women, leading to increased arousal for women and stronger erections for men. Additionally, getting regular cardiovascular exercise—whether by running, walking, swimming, cycling, or another activity you love—has other benefits on your sex life, such as boosting endurance, strength and flexibility.
Get in the routine of doing Kegels.
Kegels help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which play an important role in bladder control and may also benefit your sex life. Here are some tips for getting Kegel exercises right, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic:
- Start by identifying your pelvic floor muscles—an easy way to do so is to stop urinating mid-stream.
- Work on your technique. “Imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three,” the Mayo Clinic suggests
- Make sure you’re only tightening the pelvic floor muscles rather than engaging additional muscles. And don’t hold your breath!
- Repeat until you get the hang of it. The Mayo Clinic suggests completing three sets of between 10 and 15 repetitions each day. One great thing about Kegels is you can do them from anywhere.
Challenge yourself to a plank.
Planks and other core exercises can help improve your sex life by building strength, balance, and stamina. To get your core at its strongest, think planks, crunches, and other similar exercises.
For the perfect plank pose, start on your hands and knees with your knees directly beneath your hips and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Extend your feet back one at a time, maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels, so that your body resembles the shape of a plank. Tighten your abs, glutes, and quadriceps and hold for 30 seconds. After resting for 30 seconds to a minute, try holding plank pose for another 30 seconds. Check out this piece from Women’s Health for a visual.
Get strong with mountain climbers.
Requiring no equipment but your body, mountain climbers are a great way to work on stability and balance. This is a particularly good exercise because it requires many of the same muscles you activate during sex.
To do mountain climbers, get in the position you would assume for a plank or a pushup. While keeping your back straight, bend one knee into the chest and then return it to the starting position. Then do the same with the other leg. Once you get the hang of it, begin to move more quickly, switching back and forth between legs.
Strengthen with a bridge.
In addition to strengthening the pelvic floor, bridges also strengthen the glutes and hamstrings, both of which are used as you thrust during sex.
To practice this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground with your arms extended along your sides. Push through your heels as you raise your pelvis, keeping your shoulders and upper back on the mat. Squeeze your glutes when you reach the top of your bridge pose before lowering your pelvis back to the ground in a slow and controlled movement. Repeat 10-15 times. Alternatively, you can hold your bridge pose for 30-60 seconds.
Perfect your pushups.
Pushups are a full-body strength-building exercise that are extra helpful if you prefer to be on top during sex and for any positions that require full body engagement.
To do a pushup, begin by coming into a plank-like position with straight arms and palms beneath your shoulders. With your core engaged and while maintaining a stable and straight line from head to feet, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest hovers just above the ground. Push into your hands as you extend your arms and return to the position you started, again maintaining a straight line to avoid sagging in the hips or any other part of the body.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.