Time for a workout? (Picture: Getty Images)
In need of some motivation to head on that run or hit the gym?
This might do the trick.
Just doing four hours of exercise a week could boost women’s sex lives and increase the chances of orgasm, says new research.
But you might not want to go too hard, as the study found that exercising at higher levels – meaning more than six hours a week – had the opposite effect, reducing sexual satisfaction.
Researchers at the University of Florence asked 322 women, the majority in the mid-forties, to answer questions about their sex drive and how often they exercised.
The women then had ultrasound scans to measure blood flow to the clitoris, which is vital for both arousal and orgasms.
The research found that the women who hardly exercised, racking up high levels of ‘sexual dysfunction’ – difficulty climaxing, a low sex drive, that sort of thing.
And those doing a lot of high intensity exercise (more than six hours a week), also reported not-so-great sex lives, reporting lack of interest, low arousal, and difficulties reaching orgasm.
The sweet spot was found to be between four to six hours of exercise a week. Women who fell into this group reported having the most satisfying sex and more orgasms.
This may be because exercise gets your blood pumping all over your body, including to the clitoris, or that regular workouts boost happiness and may improve self-esteem – it’s hard to have enjoyable sex when you’re worrying about your body, after all.
More research is needed to establish a clear cause and effect relationship (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Scientists surmised that women who exercised to excess had worse sex lives because perhaps they had underlying body issues that lowered their enthusiasm for sex… which is a bit of a stretch. They might also have different priorities, or just be too tired for vigorous love-making while they’re training for a marathon.
It’s important to note that this is a small study, and a cause and effect relationship hasn’t been established.
Perhaps it’s the other way around – if you have a better sex life, you’re more keen to regularly work out.
Far more research is needed before anyone can definitively say that a specific number of exercise hours will guarantee mindblowing orgasms.
What we do know, however, is that there are plenty of benefits of getting moving – so there’s no harm in aiming for a few hours of exercise a week and seeing if your orgasms improve as a result.
But if you are having persistent issues with a low sex drive, talk to your GP, who should be able to help.
Remember, too, that one of the biggest mood-killers is stress. If you’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling pressure to perform, your chances of pleasure are scrapped.
Look after your mental health first, and your sex life will follow.
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