Does exercise rev up my sex drive?

Originally Published: May 16, 2008 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 23, 2013
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Dear Alice,

I'm curious to know if going to the gym increases sexual drive? I am a female in my 20s and recently started an exercise routine (running and weights), and I have noticed that my sexual drive has increased significantly. There have been no other major changes in my life, and I have been dating the same man for close to two years now, so I can think of no other real reason why my libido would have increased. Is there any real connection between working out in the gym and beneath the sheets?

Thanks,
Sporty and Sexy

Dear Sporty and Sexy,

As you may have already noticed, working out at the gym may help you with workin' it in the sack. In addition to increasing aerobic capabilities and muscle strength, exercise has also been linked to a high-revving sex drive. All three of these effects are definitely beneficial beneath the sheets.

Besides possibly enhancing your self-image, which is pretty sexy in itself, exercise also leads to the release of certain chemicals known as endorphins. The release of endorphins is thought to lead to a subsequent release of hormones that pump up a person's sex drive. Even low-intensity activities, such as yoga or tantra, may do a little somethin' somethin' by increasing blood flow to the genitals and increasing arousal.

Exercise may also offer a lift to some men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED), which can be caused by poor blood flow to the genital region, including the penis. Working out gets the heart pumping and improves circulation so that all parts of the body get theirs — their share of blood, that is. What's more, a relationship has been shown between a man's bulging waistline and a higher risk of ED due to underlying heart conditions. All of this means that exercise is doubly beneficial because it can help with weight loss to get both the ticker and the pecker back in shape.

Women, no need to feel left out — being physically active may also increase blood flow to the vagina and clitoris, and make a low libido a thing of the past.

With all the other well-known health benefits of exercise, isn't it great to see how all that sweat can turn into something so sexy?

Alice