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Sex or exercise?

If sex is exercise, can we do away with workouts altogether?

By Sonali Kokra  February 9th, 2015

Besides being generally awesome, sex is great for your overall health. People who do it at least once or twice a week produce more antibodies than those who don’t, plus it lowers the risk of heart attacks, gives women stronger bladder control, acts as a great painkiller and is actually exercise! A half-hour session burns almost as many calories as a half-hour jog (120 for men and 90 for women). That’s 90 more calories than we’d be burning while watching a Friends re-re-re-run. 

But while sex is undoubtedly most people’s favourite form of exercise, a real workout can help put the sizzle back into your sex life. According to a 2008 study at Florida Atlantic University, men and women who exercise frequently rate themselves higher in sexual performance and desirability than those who don’t. Because, as Mumbai-based sexologist, Dr Mahinder Watsa says, “Anything that helps you keep your body fit and active has to be good for your sex life.”

“The key,” says Mumbai-based holistic health expert Mickey Mehta, “is not just in torching calories to look and feel good. Exercising for better sex is more about that roaring rush of blood to the genitalia and every part of your body feeling oxygenated.” Multiple researches have shown that cardiovascular activity increases the production of testosterone in men. In women, it leads to a rush of blood to the pelvic area, which means stronger climaxes. Research also shows that both men and women are more aroused and receptive to their partners’ advances after a 20-minute vigorous exercising session. This is largely due to the endorphins, or happy hormones, that are released in the body. Who’d have thought that rekindling carnal urges is as simple as lacing-up the sneakers and pulling on your gym kit?

Photograph: Edouardo Rezende