Love More, Nurture Yourself, Sex, Sweat Often

Sexercise Your Way to Happier—and Yes, Healthier—You

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Sexercise. You either just blushed when I said it, or you already have your pants unbuttoned. No judgment either way, but, full disclothesure (ha!), I’m going to try to convince you to get comfy with the concept.

I may not be Dr. Ruth, but this I know: A healthy sex life is an important part of living your most Nutritious Life. Is it as important as eating empowered, sleeping deep, stressing less, and all of my other pillars? You bet.

Sex is good for you. It helps you recover from stressors better, strengthens your immune system, benefits your heart health and lowers blood pressure. Need more sex benefits?

Benefits of Sex

Sex prevents prostate cancer in men.

It prevents bladder cancer in women.

It’s a mood booster.

It’s a pain alleviator.

It can help you lose weight.

It can help you look younger and sleep better.

Sex as Exercise

And there’s one more tiny detail we don’t focus on enough: Sex is actually a form of exercise as well. It strengthens muscles and burns about 3-4 calories per minute, kind of like biking at a light to moderate pace. So if you haven’t been biking because your tire is flat or your chain is loose or your handlebars are rusty, no more excuses. You don’t even need a bike.

There’s plenty of sexercise apps out there to help you calculate your, er, expenditure and keep track of your favorite ways to do it. Yep, there’s an app for that.

There’s a sexercise website devoted to helping you and your partner record those passionate calories burned. It even plots it on a graph for all you visual learners out there. It also tells you the equivalent exercises that would have burned the same amount of calories, and how many ounces of red wine you burned off.

There’s probably a lot of other resources out there, but I don’t want to get you in trouble if you’re reading this while at work. You can do that research on your own.

Speaking of research, it tells us that the more lovin’ you get in, the more lovin’ you’ll enjoy. It’s a self-fulfilling wellness wheel that you should climb on responsibly. Basically, sexercise should fit neatly sometime between waking up and falling asleep, like brushing your teeth or checking your email. If you tend to brush your teeth or check your email a lot, bonus!

Exercise to Sexercise

Now, I’m not saying that sex is itself the best form of exercise. But many of those other forms have an impact on your physical health, and improving your health can make you better at sex—it’s a really pleasurable circle of great benefits. For example, cardio (such as running, cycling, power walking) increases endurance, which understandably connects to bedroom activities. (Some people even experience “coregasm” during their cardio!) Also, for men, moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise improves erectile dysfunction.

Another great activity that leads to increased sexual function: kegel exercises. Doing kegels strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. A number of factors, from childbirth to surgery to aging (and losing estrogen), contributes to these muscles weakening. Often recommended as a strategy to help fight incontinence, kegel exercises are generally believed to improve sexual performance, not just in women but in men too.

Then there are routines that improve your strength and flexibility. It’s not hard to imagine the extracurricular benefits of Pilates: Poses like the Pilates V (or Frog) build up core strength, which is great—and maybe it will also inspire some new sexy techniques to practice with your partner? Then there’s yoga, with plenty of stretches and poses that will both make you more limber and firm up your glutes.

Most of us just think of the fun side of sex, not the fact that it’s actually good for your health. I’m not telling you to skip your morning run, or that you don’t need the spin class. I’m just saying that maybe it’s time to enhance your workout with a little between-the-sheets cross-training.

Now stop blushing, keep unbuttoning your pants, and get your sexercise on.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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