Does working out lead to better bedroom workouts?
There’s an association between the two according to a recent study, "The Association of Exercise with Both Erectile and Sexual Function in Black and White Men," (Journal of Sexual Medicine, May 2015). Senior study author Adriana Vidal, PhD of the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Department of Surgery says it’s the first study to link the benefits of exercise in relation to improved erectile and sexual function in a racially diverse group of patients.
Behind the Scenes of the Study
Study researchers compared nearly 300, healthy white and African American men’s self-reported physical and sexual activity levels.
They rated regular exercise using what’s called a MET (metabolic equivalents) scale, which scores both exercise intensity and total exercise time. Depending on their MET scores, the men were placed into four exercise categories: sedentary (<3 MET hours/week), mildly active (3−8.9), moderately active (9−17.9), and highly active (≥18).
The reveal: Men who reported 18 or more MET hours per week had clinically significant better sexual function, meaning better self-reported erection ability and quality, orgasm ability, and overall sexual function. And men who exercised less had lower levels of sexual function.
The 18 METS Workout
"When it comes to exercise," says study co-author Stephen Freedland, MD, "there is no one-size-fits-all approach."
Here are 3 ways the researchers mentioned to get to 18 METS per week:
- 2 hours/week of strenuous exercise (such as jogging)
- 3.5 hours/week of moderate exercise (such as walking briskly or playing tennis)
- 6 hours/week of light exercise (such as golfing)
Dr. Freedland says that when it comes to sexual function, "We are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if less intense, is better than no exercise at all."
But could it be that men who exercise more are generally in better shape, and men in better shape:
* are more confident during sex?
* feel physically better in their bodies during sex, and associate that with higher levels of sexual pleasure?
This study did not test whether sedentary men who take on an 18 METs challenge or exercise cumulatively at a higher rate will reap bed benefits. "We cannot conclude," the researchers say, "that more exercise caused better erectile/sexual function."
The Erectile Literature
Previous studies, however, have shown that exercise does increase erectile function—at least in certain populations with erectile problems.
Sedentary obese Asian men who took on 200−300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (16.5−25 METs) per week had significant increased erectile function. (Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2013)
Men with ischemic heart disease who suffered from sexual dysfunction and received cardiac rehabilitation had significantly better erectile ability post exercise training. (American Journal of Men’s Health, 2014).
Men aged 50−70 with average or lower physical fitness diagnosed with hypertension who participated in a bicycle exercise program had significantly improved erectile function at the conclusion of the 8-week training period. (Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 2009)
In addition, healthy men aged 48−62 with erectile dysfunction who engaged in moderate intensity exercise for 2 ½ hours per week (about 13 METs/week) over three months had significantly better erectile function than a group of similar men who did not participate in the exercise regimen. (Journal of European Urology, 2009)
Sex — Ex Synopsis
Taken together, all these are good reasons to get the blood flowing. If a man is not healthy, the exercise may help his performance and his overall well-being.
But as far as exercising improving sexual ability in healthy men without erectile dysfunction, here’s the Honest Health News bottom line: soft on study literature and hard to prove.When Exercising Heightens Male Sexual Performance. Click To Tweetby