For those of you who are still doubtful whether to jump onto the running bandwagon, here’s one more to that long list of benefits – running makes for better sex. It makes you last longer and perform better in bed. Yes, it is true, runners have great sex lives. Don’t take our word for it. Here’s proof that running is the best shortcut to a “happy climax.”
5 Reasons To Consider Running For Better Sex
1. Boosts Libido
The first step toward having a good sex life is to have a healthy sex drive or libido. A 2013 study explored the effects of exercise on women taking antidepressants. As you might know, among the many ills of antidepressants, lowering of the libido is a major one. The study found that exercising – any aerobic exercise like running – 30 minutes prior to having sex reduced the effects of the medicines and boosted libido.5 This effect extends to people who have low libido not necessarily because of antidepressants.
2. Increases Testosterone Levels
Testosterone levels play a major role in regulating libido in both men and women. It is scientifically proven that those with higher circulating levels of testosterone tend to engage in more sexual activity. In women, testosterone levels increase around and during ovulation, which is when they tend to feel more sexually aroused.6
There is enough and more scientific proof for the fact that running helps boost testosterone levels, which, in turn, translates to better sex. A few interesting studies point this out.
Fast Endurance Runners Have More Testosterone
Researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Division of Biological Anthropology compared the race timings and finger lengths of 542 marathoners.7 Why finger lengths, you may be wondering! Previous research has found that a 2D:4D ratio between your index finger and ring finger indicates high levels of testosterone in the body.8
The study found that there was a significant positive correlation between the race times and the digit lengths, which means that fast endurance runners are not just on top of their running game but also perform well in bed.9
Regular Exercise Raises Testosterone In women
Researchers also found that regular physical exercise (10 or more hours a week) may help increase testosterone in women.10
Over-Training Can Lower The Levels
Running for less than 2 hours has been found to increase levels of testosterone in your body, according to a study at the University of North Carolina. The study, however, warns runners against going overboard as over-training will only lead to a subsequent drop in testosterone levels.11
3. Enables Faster And More Intense Orgasms
As they say, all is well that ends well. This is particularly true for sex. Running can help reach a satisfying climax. In a study of over 5,500 Finnish women in their 40s and 50s, researchers found a significant positive relationship between strenuous exercise and orgasm experiences.12
The 2013 study on women on antidepressants also observed that women who exercised before having sex were aroused more quickly and were able to orgasm faster and more intensely.13
4. Helps Manage Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and sustain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Estimates suggest that 1 in every 10 men suffers from erectile dysfunction at some point in his life. And, guess what, as running gets your blood flowing at a healthy pace, it also helps alleviate erectile dysfunction.14
5. Improves Body Image
Self-confidence is key to sexual performance. Running helps deal with body image issues and leaves you appreciating your body and what it can do. It has been proven to increase body confidence and self-image.
A 2008 study conducted at Florida Atlantic University found that men and women who exercised frequently were more likely to rate themselves higher in sexual desirability.15 It also found that physical activity like running made women’s bodies more sensitive to touch, while men reported better orgasms and improved sexual function.
Running is, therefore, a good way to boost your sexual performance. But remember to maintain a balance in your regime. Do not go overboard as it might backfire and tire you out before you get a chance to prove your improved sexual prowess.
|↑1||Chakravarty, Eliza F., Helen B. Hubert, Vijaya B. Lingala, and James F. Fries. “Reduced disability and mortality among aging runners: a 21-year longitudinal study.” Archives of internal medicine 168, no. 15 (2008): 1638–1646.|
|↑2||Gurfein, Blake T., Andrew W. Stamm, Peter Bacchetti, Mary F. Dallman, Nachiket A. Nadkarni, Jeffrey M. Milush, Chadi Touma et al. “The calm mouse: an animal model of stress reduction.” Molecular Medicine 18, no. 4 (2012): 606.|
|↑3||Winker, Robert, Ina Lukas, Thomas Perkmann, Helmut Haslacher, Elisabeth Ponocny, Johann Lehrner, Dimiter Tscholakoff, and Peter Dal-Bianco. “Cognitive function in elderly marathon runners: cross-sectional data from the marathon trial (APSOEM).” Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift 122, no. 23–24 (2010): 704–716.|
|↑4||Cantwell, John D. “Cardiovascular aspects of running.” Clinics in sports medicine 4, no. 4 (1985): 627–640.|
|↑5, ↑10, ↑13||Lorenz, Tierney A., and Cindy M. Meston. “Acute exercise improves physical sexual arousal in women taking antidepressants.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 43, no. 3 (2012): 352–361.|
|↑6||Fisher, Helen E, Arthur Aron, and Lucy L Brown. “Romantic Love: A Mammalian Brain System for Mate Choice.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 361.1476 (2006): 2173–2186. PMC. Web. 21 July 2016.|
|↑7||Tester, Nicholas Keith. “Mediating variables in the relationship between 2D: 4D digit ratio and sports achievement rank.” PhD diss., Durham University, 2004.|
|↑8||Manning, John T., Diane Scutt, James Wilson, and D. Iwan Lewis-Jones. “The ratio of 2nd to 4th digit length: a predictor of sperm numbers and concentrations of testosterone, luteinizing hormone and oestrogen.” Human reproduction 13, no. 11 (1998): 3000–3004.|
|↑9||Longman, Daniel, Jonathan CK Wells, and Jay T. Stock. “Can persistence hunting signal male quality? A test considering digit ratio in endurance athletes.” PloS one 10, no. 4 (2015): e0121560.|
|↑11||Viru, Atko M., Anthony C. Hackney, Erli VaÈlja, Kalle Karelson, Tamara Janson, and Mehis Viru. “Influence of prolonged continuous exercise on hormone responses to subsequent exercise in humans.” European journal of applied physiology 85, no. 6 (2001): 578–585.|
|↑12||Ojanlatva, Ansa, Juha Mäkinen, Hans Helenius, Katariina Korkeila, Jari Sundell, and Päivi Rautava. “Sexual activity and perceived health among Finnish middle-aged women.” Health and quality of life outcomes 4, no. 1 (2006): 1.|
|↑14||Lamina, Sikiru, E. C. Agbanusi, and Richard C. Nwacha. “Effects of aerobic exercise in the management of erectile dysfunction: a meta analysis study on randomized controlled trials.” Ethiopian journal of health sciences 21, no. 3 (2011): 195.|
|↑15||Penhollow, Tina M., and Michael Young. “Predictors of sexual satisfaction: The role of body image and fitness.” (2008).|