Dr. Jen’s 5 Benefits of Exercise for Your Sex Life 2015-06-30
"I think someone should design exercise machines that reward people with sex at the end of their workouts, because people will perform superhuman feats for even the faint hope of that." - Tina Fey
Dr. Jen Landa, known to her patients and colleagues as “Dr. Jen,” helps women and men boost their energy, enhance their moods, and improve their sex lives. In her book, The Sex Drive Solution for Women, she identifies lifestyle changes for improving overall health and enjoying sex. I spoke with Dr. Jen last week about her personal experiences and the benefits of exercise for a good sex life.
Dr. Jen’s passion for helping others improve their sex lives started with her own personal struggle in a sex-deprived marriage. At age 28, three years into her marriage, Dr. Jen says that her interest in sex with her husband was non-existent. At the time, Dr. Jen was wrapping up her final year of OB/GYN residency, yet didn’t feel like she knew how to approach her own situation, let alone help others. The problems lingered. Two years later, she had her first child. “I got a mom haircut. I got a mom bathing suit. I got mom jeans,” she said. “I didn’t feel like a sexual person. I used to be an adrenaline junkie and then I became anxious at work. I lost my edge.”
Her frustration led her to stop her OB/GYN practice and shift gears, focusing on integrative and functional medicine. Dr. Jen began to learn more about hormones, nutrition, and exercise, which are topics not commonly given much air time in Western medicine. She said the knowledge she gained “was the beginning of my ability to help myself and help others.”
“I learned about hormones and how they control everything in our bodies,” she said. “My hormones were out of whack. I learned about the importance of nutrition and exercise.” Through changes she made to her lifestyle, Dr. Jen improved her energy, her mood, and her sex life.
We frequently hear about the benefits of sex for our health, including its positive impact on our immune system, our blood pressure, and even our skin. Well, if we know sex is good for us, what can we do to make sex a larger part of our lives? According to Dr. Jen, exercise plays a huge role.
5 Benefits of Exercise for Your Sex Life
1. Improves Energy
Our energy and libido levels are raised as our testosterone level goes up. Regular exercise has the potential to boost our testosterone levels. Dr. Jen pointed out that the most effective exercise to improve energy and libido is what she calls “burst training,” effectively high-intensity interval training (HIIT). “I think running on the treadmill for an hour is a total waste of time,” she said. Long periods of cardio, she contends, increases the cortisol (the stress-related hormone) level and decreases the testosterone (the muscle-building, energy-related hormone) level. With burst training, cortisol levels are elevated for short periods of time, but testosterone are boosted over long periods of time.
2. Increases Blood Flow
Dr. Jen said, “Sexuality is all about blood flow, and exercise opens the blood flow.” Without getting graphic [and Dr. Jen provided quite a lot of detail!], exercise is a great way to help your body channel the blood to the necessary body parts before having sex. Dr. Jen said, “Exercise is all about pumping blood all over your body, for both men and women. The rushing of healthy blood flow gets us stimulated and exercise helps keep the blood flow channels open.”
3. Improves Flexibility
Many adults, especially older adults, have flexibility issues. Dr. Jen said, “Some older women have trouble so severe that their pelvis becomes somewhat constricted and they can’t open their legs wide enough to accommodate their partners.” Activities such as yoga and stretching help with flexibility. For people of all ages, being nimble provides more freedom during sex.
4. Builds up Endurance
For most people, sexual intercourse takes time. Dr. Jen pointed out that “It’s well-known that women take a lot longer to climax than men.” It’s important for all of us to build up stamina, she said, so that we can “have a longer session without huffing and puffing the whole time.”
5. Develops Core Strength
Oh yes, the core. I can’t get through a blog without mentioning it. According to Dr. Jen, there are certain sexual positions that require a strong core for both genders. The core, she points out, includes the pelvic floor muscles, which are important for women during sex. Dr. Jen says that men can improve their performance with a really strong core, as some positions demand it. The more fit you are, the more likely you are to enjoy sex.
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