We’d love to believe that we could just hop into bed with our partners and the calories would just melt off. Some sources claim that sex could be a form of intense exercise. And it definitely feels that way when things get hot and heavy. But is it really enough for you to ditch your regular workout? The short answer? not exactly. But there’s more than enough reasons for you to continue having sex while continuing your daily workout.
How Much Exactly Could You Burn?
One study compared the effects of having sex to 30 minutes of activity on a treadmill. They found that on average, sex burns about 4 calories a minute in men and 3 calories a minute in women. Compared to how jogging burns about double that rate, this doesn’t really add up to much. Researchers also found that sex, on average, lasted about 24 minutes.
Some men did show short bursts of activity that were more intense than the treadmill.1 But, this is a rare occurrence and you can’t consistently expect to burn the same amount of calories every time you have sex. Plus we’re sure you’d rather focus on your partner than tracking how many calories you burn. If you use sex as your only form of activity, you’ll only work off about the equivalent of one piece of string cheese twice or thrice a week. This isn’t nearly enough for weight loss or even just to keep yourself healthy and fit. Think twice
Other Benefits Of Sex
Sex is definitely great for your body in many different ways. Here’s how it can help improve your health.
- Helps you sleep better2
- Increases immunity3
- Helps you live longer4
- Alleviates stress5
- Decreases the likelihood of developing diabetes and heart disease.6
Sex As A Warm-up
The good news is that sex is essentially a less intense form of cardio. It gets your heart rate up, stretches and strengthens muscles, and tests endurance (depending on who’s on top). Having sex in the morning is a great idea because of two things. One is that men reach the peak of testosterone levels between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. If you make some time in the morning, you can jump into your morning workout right after sex since you’d already be warmed up!
How Does Exercise Affect Sex?
Sex is definitely a form of exercise but whether it should count as your only form of exercise, is a definite no. On the other hand, working out outside of the bedroom could actually improve your performance in the bedroom. Women who are active tend to reach orgasm faster.7 A short burst of intense exercise ups the levels of testosterone in men’s bodies as well. This stimulates sexual behavior and interest.8 Not to mention, you’ll feel strong and confident enough to take on challenges in the bedroom.
So What’s The Bottom Line?
As much as we want to believe that we can just have sex instead of actually hitting the gym, it’s simply not the case. While sex is definitely beneficial for your body, it just can’t replace your workout. Sex is a great supplement to your workout, just as any other kind of physical activity. It just happens to be way more fun! That being said, There’s no harm in skipping a day at the gym every once in a while to spend some quality time with your partner.
|↑1||Frappier, Julie, Isabelle Toupin, Joseph J. Levy, Mylene Aubertin-Leheudre, and Antony D. Karelis. “Energy expenditure during sexual activity in young healthy couples.” PLoS one 8, no. 10 (2013): e79342.|
|↑2, ↑6||Whipple, Beverly, Jon Knowles, Jessica Davis, W. L. Gianotten, and A. E. Owens. “The health benefits of sexual expression.” Sexual health 1 (2007): 17-41.|
|↑3||Charnetski, Carl J., and Francis X. Brennan. “Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA).” Psychological reports 94, no. 3 (2004): 839-844.|
|↑4||Smith, George Davey, Stephen Frankel, and John Yarnell. “Sex and death: are they related? Findings from the Caerphilly cohort study.” Bmj 315, no. 7123 (1997): 1641-1644.|
|↑5||Brody, Stuart. “Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile–vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity.” Biological psychology 71, no. 2 (2006): 214-222.|
|↑7, ↑8||Young, Michael, and T. Penhollow. “Sexual desirability and sexual performance: Does exercise and fitness really matter.” Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality 7 (2004).|