Sex, sex, and more sex! It’s everywhere. It’s on the television shows we watch, the movies we see, the magazines we read, and yes, it’s even in the gym! Of course I don’t mean sex in the literal sense. But figuratively speaking, sexuality oozes everywhere, and the gym is no exception.

We all come from different places, and have different goals and different things that make us feel better about ourselves. For me, exercise helps me to feel good about myself, not just because of physical benefits but also because of the health benefits that come along with it. Another great benefit of regular exercise is increased sex drive.

When I go to work, especially in the evenings when it’s busy, you can almost feel the hormones throbbing. With that many hot and sweaty boys and girls, sexual tension is inevitable.

Let’s face it; there is an overwhelming pressure in our community to look good, and therefore exercise regularly. I think at least part of the reason for this pressure is related to sex. At least part of this exercise/ sex connection stems from the fact that regular sexual activity can have real health benefits, very similar to the ones that can also be derived from exercise. Some of them include:

1. Increased calorie burn- Having sex is in a way a form of aerobic activity, unless of course it’s over in 30 seconds, which I hope for everyone’s sake is not the case. But continuous rhythmic movement over a sustained period of time can definitely burn a lot of calories. Not to get too clinical, but regular aerobic exercise can have many heart healthy benefits as well. Sex would be no exception as long as it is done safely.

2. Increased flexibility- Ok, I don’t think I need to say very much here. Your minds can do all of the thinking. However, just as with flexibility training in the gym, care should be taken not to push a stretch too far or too fast. Slow, passive stretching is always the best way to increase flexibility.

3. Increased core strength- Yes, it’s true! Your core gets a great workout while having sex, especially when certain positions are held for a long time. In certain sexual situations, a lot of balance and stability are required. This will work the inner core.

4. Increased muscular endurance- Oh come on, you know we’ve all experienced that muscular burn at one time or another while having sex. It usually happens in the lower extremities, namely the thighs. That burn tells us our muscles are really working and we are actually increasing our endurance!

5. Improved mental outlook- Having sex can help to make us happy. However, a healthy sex life is just one of many different factors that can lead to happiness and a positive well being. Having an improved mental outlook can help us in all areas of our life.

6. Be safe- Ok, this isn’t so much a benefit as a request. Be safe. Practice safer sex. I know I have no right to tell anyone what to do but it’s something to think about. It’s your life and your body. Honor it.

Ok, now that you know some of the benefits of sexual activity, some of you may wish to engage in more of it. If that’s the case, there are certain exercises that you can do in the gym to enhance your sex life. This is functional training like you’ve never heard of before! Ok, here are some tips:

1. Strengthen the lower back- Let’s face it; a lot of us have fragile backs, so we should be strengthening the lower back anyway. The lower back is used heavily during sex due to all of the flexion and extension movements of the spine. Lying lower back extensions or Roman Chair extensions are effective exercises for training the lower back.

2. Strengthen the lower body- The lower body is half of your body. That’s reason enough to be training it. But it also really helps build endurance for sex. There could be many situations that require at least one of the participants to hold a position for a long time, and it’s usually the legs that have to do the supporting. Compound exercises such as squats and lunges can really help here. Not to mention they can also build really nice, tight glutes!

3. Strengthen the abdominals- As I said before, your core gets a good workout during sex. But if your core is weak, you may not be able to last very long. Basic abdominal exercises such as crunches, reverse crunches, and knee raises can help to build core endurance. More advanced functional exercises such as ball crunches and trunk rotations can also help.

4. Improve your cardio- I’ve never known anyone who has had a heart attack during sex, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So spend some time with your cardiovascular exercise. The more aerobic endurance you have, the longer you will be able to last in the sack!

5. Improve your flexibility- The last thing you want to have happen during sex is to get a muscular strain. As mentioned, the act of sex itself can improve one’s flexibility. But it’s also good to be prepared, especially since pushing a stretch too far is usually the last thing on our minds during sex. Slow, passive stretching after or during a workout is the best way to improves one’s flexibility. Holding the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds is recommended.

There is another part of this connection between exercise and sex that has a lot more to do with state of mind than physical benefits. As I said, sexuality oozes at most gyms and health clubs. It may be because some people are attracted to others who exercise. This may be because of the person’s aesthetic appearance, or it may be because they find the act of exercising a turn on. For some people, exercise might even be a form of foreplay. Whatever the reason, the connection exists. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change. If one comes to understand it, I think it can be a very beneficial in building a healthy sex life and a healthy you!

Thanks for reading. Be healthy!