Getting physical can ramp up the pleasure for you and your partner. Any activity that gets your heart beating faster and you breathing harder, from brisk walking to cycling, can boost blood flow -- including to your nether regions. That's a plus for both genders: stronger erections for men, and greater arousal for women according to a University of Texas study.
Harvard researchers found that male and female swimmers in their 60s had sex lives similar to people 20 years younger. Swimming builds endurance, boosts blood flow, improves flexibility and strength, and slashes stress. It also burns some serious calories, a plus for anyone who's overweight (extra pounds lower libido), especially obese men with erectile dysfunction.
A strong, flexible core underpins most everything you do. That includes performing between the sheets.
This move will make you more flexible during lovemaking, says NYC-based exercise physiologist Liz Neporent. It's an intense hip opener that stretches your inner thighs, groin, and hips. It also releases stress, which can be a real buzz-kill in bed.
To help hold yourself in a "favorable position" without your back or legs giving out, Neporent recommends the hinge. Lean back at a 45-degree angle for a few seconds before returning upright, and repeat. The move is subtle but creates a lot of staying power.
Developed to treat urinary incontinence, these strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and that may mean more intense orgasms. Women may be more familiar with Kegels, but they also help men prevent premature ejaculation. But studies show half of people don't do them correctly. Ladies, if you put a finger in your vagina, you should feel a pulling up when you squeeze. Men, your penis will lift up.
This is a perfect way to strengthen the deepest layer of your ab muscles (transversus abdominis), along with your upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. These muscles help stabilize you so you can stay close to your partner when and where it counts most. Do it once a day, and build up to 60 seconds or longer. If it's too challenging on your toes, try balancing on your knees instead.
Think of this yoga pose as another form of foreplay. It limbers your spine, helps get you into an even breathing rhythm, and improves focus -- so your mind stays in the moment. Move with a steady flow, so that each rounding up (the cow part) takes a full breath in and each arching downward (the cat part) exhales out.
Whether your favorite position is missionary or cowgirl, this move is a key part of it. But powerful pushes can be exhausting when you're out of shape. Work your glutes, calves, and hamstrings to build stamina and flexibility. Pelvic thrusts also sculpt your booty, so you feel good and look good.
Couples who sweat together stay together, so make an exercise date with your significant other. Studies show that challenging physical activities spark arousal. You'll be more attracted to your partner post-workout, too. Coordinate your actions (for example, run at the same pace) to strengthen your emotional connection even more.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
- Penhollow, T. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, published online Oct. 15, 2008.
- Lamina, S. Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences, November 2011.
- University of Texas at Austin, news release.
- Krucoff, C. American Fitness, November/December 2000.
- Harvard Health Publications: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights."
- Esposito, K. JAMA, June 2004.
- Indiana University, news release.
- Liz Neporent, exercise physiologist, New York.
- Judith Florendo, PT, DPT, physical therapist, Chicago.
- Laura Berman, PhD, assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago; author, Loving Sex.
- McKinney, K. Scholars, published online Summer 2011.
- Stel, M. British Journal of Psychology, published online Dec. 24, 2010.