31 Days of Movement: Nookie

So it’s a few days after Christmas. There’s a ton of yummy food in the house, it’s still very cold and dark outside, and it’s tempting to wait for the new year to start on a program of health and fitness. Now, I know you’ve been keeping up with your movement all month long, so we’re good. But just in case, this is a reminder that to sustain a healthy movement lifestyle, it helps to know why you’re moving.

Exercise may be the thing that stands between you and a bad mood. Exercise may be what you do because you know it keeps your brain healthy, including a good memory. 

Those can be powerful motivators. I move first and foremost because it’s fun, second because it makes me feel good emotionally and spiritually, third because I like the look and feel of muscles, and fourth because I know it’s good for me (prevents diabetes, keeps my mind sharper, that kind of thing). The “it’s good for me!” is pretty far down the list because it feels more remote. It’s not a benefit that I can sense immediately.

For most of us, disease prevention is a great goal but it’s so far away. Unless a doctor has warned us, “hey, move now or get on this medication,” many of us will find that the immediate reward (relaxing with a good book, for instance) is more powerful than the unknown and far off reward (if I live long enough, having exercised today probably will make me a healthier older person). 

So let’s pull out the big guns, shall we? You are going to exercise this week because exercise improves your sex life. A lot.

 Exercise improves blood flow, and that’s a primary reason sex is better when we exercise. It’s also good for confidence. Exercise makes us feel sexier. Check out this article for the details. 

From the same More magazine article I referred to in Wednesday’s post, here’s the low down on getting down.

Melinda Dodd writes, “Over two decades, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated that when women spend 20 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike, then watch an erotic film, they increase blood flow to their vaginal walls by an average of 50 percent compared with when they just watch the film. The effects of exercise can last up to 30 minutes, making it a boon in the bedroom, where your partner's body (or other sexual stimuli) could work in lieu of the movie.” Please note that the effect doesn’t last for long, so go for a short workout with your partner and then plan some time for nookie right after. That’s what we call a win/win. 

For men, blood flow is crucial for an erection, and exercise combats erectile dysfunction.  One study showed men who engaged in moderate cardiovascular exercise three or four days a week reported experiencing "more satisfying orgasms." For women, blood flow helps with desire as well. Having strength and stamina can help both men and women as well as mobility and flexibility for a variety of fun positions.

In addition, when we’re physically active, we’re more in touch with our bodies. We’re primed for sensation. 

If you want more spark in your love life, it’s true that the most important element is your imagination, your brain, your desire. We’ve already determined that exercise strengthens our brains, makes us stress-resilient, and brightens our mood. Heck, yes, that will make our sex lives better too.