Saturday, December 8, 2007

Exercise and Romance

For almost 4 years I have been promoting the benefits of exercise and fitness. But I have overlooked one the most important reasons for staying fit - maintaining a healthy sex life. In the February 1999 issue of the American Medical Association, researchers found that sexual dysfunction is more likely among those with poor physical health and it contributes to negative experiences with sexual relationships. The conclusion is that your physical health affects your ability to function sexually.

But this is only one of many studies. It seems to be a popular topic of research:

Doctors at the New England Research Institute determined that regular vigorous exercise would lower the risk of impotence. Vigorous exercise was defined as doing the equivalent of walking two miles or burning 200 calories a day.

A University of California studied middle-aged, sedentary men. After putting them on one hour of exercise three times a week, "the men demonstrated improved sexual function, more frequent sex and orgasms and greater satisfaction."

Researchers at Bentley College in Massachusetts found that women in their 40s were more sexually active (about seven times per month), and enjoyed it more then a sedentary group of peers. Since sex requires similar endurance developed through cardio exercise, it is recommended that individuals walk, run, cycle or swim for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. The results are both partners will be able to perform longer and more often.
These are a couple of my favorite studies:

A two-year study at the Cologne University Medical Center determined that certain exercises can be as effective as Via*gra (sildenafil) in dealing with some causes of erectile dysfunction. It was always assumed that certain pelvic exercises would help, but according to Dr. Frank Sommer, "we were surprised it was so effective."

Over 100 patients with middle to medium circulatory problems were randomly given sildenafil, placebo or placed on an exercise routine.

The results were 80% of the participants who exercised reported better erections, compared to 74% on sildenafil and 18% taking the placebo. The exercise focused on the pelvis, buttocks and upper leg muscles. The results were increased blood flow necessary to maintain an erection, and best of all, the rigidity of the erections improved an average of 46% three months after men started the exercise program.

The University of Texas, at Austin, studied 35 women between the ages of 18 and 34. You are going to like this research. On two separate occasions the woman watched a short travel film followed by an X-rated film. The first viewing the women cycled vigorously for 20 minutes. The second viewing they were sedentary. The women's response was calculated by measuring the blood flow in their genital tissue. It was concluded that the vaginal responses were 169% greater after exercising.
These studies confirm the contribution of exercise to a healthy love life, but everything in moderation. If you are thinking that becoming an ultra marathon runner or a triathlete will take your sexual encounters to the stratosphere, you will be disappointed. Extreme exercise can actually decrease testosterone level, leading to less robust sex.

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