Kasey Jo Orvidas, a blonde woman in a red bikini standing by a pier. Text beside image says: valentine's day science: sex, exercise, & health

How Sex Improves Your Health

exercise research sex Feb 14, 2020

Do you want to improve your sex life?⁣

And do you also want to exercise more and have better workouts?⁣

I’m going to guess you probably also want to live a long, healthy life. (Well, you should.)

Something you may not know is that these things work together. ⁣

We already know that exercise improves mood, physical health, strength, and longevity (Ruegsegger & Booth, 2018), but there is also a lot of research to show that sex and exercise are interconnected. 

Exercise has sex benefits, and sex has exercise benefits!

If you’ve recently started exercising regularly, you may have noticed that you have increased strength and stamina in the bedroom. 

And if you’ve been having more sex, you may have noticed you’re performing better in the gym.

These statements aren’t just anecdotal. There’s plenty of research to support them. 


The Science of Sex


There have been several studies that look at how exercise and sex work together. Here are just a handful that show the benefits of sex and exercise. 


Exercise Enhances Sex Study

Morris, Marshall, and Demers (2018) conducted a study on 509 people aged 18–74. 

The participants completed an online survey assessing their sexual performance and exercise. 

The research showed that greater exercise intensity predicted a significantly greater frequency of sexual arousal, sexual desire, sexual activity, and more orgasms. 

They found that those who intensely strength train on a regular basis were 3.25 times more likely to report more sexual desire. 


Exercise as Sex Study

Other researchers looked at sex as a form of exercise (Frappier et al., 2013). 

In this study, couples wore an armband that measures heart rate during sex. 

Their results showed that men burned an average of 101 calories and women burned an average of 69 calories per “session” of sexual activity. 

That works out to 4.2 calories per minute for men and 3.1 calories per minute for women. It’s less than jogging but a little more than a light walk—and a lot more fun!

Sex and Longevity Study

Smith and Yarnell (1997) also looked at how sex impacts longevity. 

In this study, researchers had a group of 918 men aged 45–59 who they followed for 10 years and periodically assessed on their physical and sexual health. 

Their results indicate that mortality risk was 50% lower in the group with high orgasmic frequency compared to the group with low orgasmic frequency. 

There was evidence of a dose-response relationship. 

In other words, their risk of death decreased as orgasms increased and vice versa. 


More Benefits of Sex⁣

Other researchers have found additional benefits of sex. 

For example, oxytocin is produced in your brain during sex and things like cuddling (Yuksel et al., 2019). As you may already know, oxytocin is also produced during exercise. ⁣

Oxytocin is part of the group of “happy hormones” responsible for helping your body handle stress and increase positive emotions (Wudarczyk et al., 2013)⁣.

Other research has found that 20 minutes of intense cycling before watching an x-rated film predicted more physiological sexual arousal in women as measured by blood flow (Meston & Gorzalka, 1995)—similar results have been seen in men too.⁣

Keep in mind, though, too much exercise (i.e., overtraining) can have the opposite effect and result in a lower sex drive (Cadegiani & Kater, 2018)⁣.

As with anything, there can be too much of a good thing. 

Have More Sex to Improve Your Health


Your main takeaway?

The healthier you are, the more confident you are, and the more energy you have (all great benefits of regular and vigorous, but not too much, exercise) all translate to sexy time satisfaction.⁣

And sex itself has its own health benefits too!⁣

So if you’re ready to get to the gym to improve your health and sex life, check out our FREE 4-week training guide!

You’ll get access to workouts, important information, videos, and terminology to help you make the most of this guide. 

Get yours here, and get ready to improve your sex life. 

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Frappier, J., Toupin, I., Levy, J. J., Aubertin-Leheudre, M., & Karelis, A. D. (2013). Energy expenditure during sexual activity in young healthy couples. PLoS one, 8(10), e79342.

Meston, C. M., & Gorzalka, B. B. (1995). The effects of sympathetic activation on physiological and subjective sexual arousal in women. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(6), 651-664.

Morris, D., Marshall, S. A., & Demers, D. (2018). Exercise predictors of self-reported sexual performance among healthy adults. International Journal of Health Sciences, 6(1), 1-16.

Ruegsegger, G. N., & Booth, F. W. (2018). Health benefits of exercise. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 8(7), a029694.

Smith, G. D., Frankel, S., & Yarnell, J. (1997). Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study. Bmj, 315(7123), 1641-1644.

Wudarczyk, O. A., Earp, B. D., Guastella, A., & Savulescu, J. (2013). Could intranasal oxytocin be used to enhance relationships? Research imperatives, clinical policy, and ethical considerations. Current opinion in psychiatry, 26(5), 474.

Yüksel O, Ateş M, Kızıldağ S, Yüce Z, Koç B, Kandiş S, Güvendi G, Karakılıç A, Gümüş H, Uysal N. Regular Aerobic Voluntary Exercise Increased Oxytocin in Female Mice: The Cause of Decreased Anxiety and Increased Empathy-Like Behaviors. Balkan Med J. 2019 Aug 22;36(5):257-262. doi: 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2019.2018.12.87. Epub 2019 May 29. PMID: 31140236; PMCID: PMC6711252.

Hi, I'm Kasey!

I coach, mentor, write, and teach with one main focus: Build strong bodies and healthy lifestyles, starting with your mindset.


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