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Hormone Therapy Wellness

How Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Life

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4029″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”http://www.health.com/sex/exercise-and-sex”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row content_width=”grid”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][mkdf_section_subtitle color=”” text_align=”” text=”A growing body of research suggests it may boost desire, arousal, and satisfaction.
By Robert J. Davis” width=””][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

In the new book Fitter Faster ($17, amazon.com), health journalist Robert J. Davis and celebrity trainer Brad Kolowich, Jr. share one more excellent reason to break a sweat.

You’ve likely heard that regular exercise can reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis. But a growing body of research shows it may have another, more surprising effect: improving your sex life.

In men, regular exercise appears to be a natural Viagra. It’s associated with a lower risk of erectile problems. In one study, sedentary middle-aged men assigned to participate in a vigorous exercise program for nine months reported more frequent sexual activity, improved sexual function, and greater satisfaction. Those whose fitness levels increased most saw the biggest improvements in their sex lives.

Research in women has found that those who are physically active report greater sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction than women who are sedentary. In one unusual experiment, young women who did intense cycling for 20 minutes and watched an X-rated film showed greater physiological sexual arousal (as measured by a device that assesses vaginal blood flow) than subjects who did not exercise before seeing the film.

Increased blood flow helps explain why exercise leads to better sexual function in men as well. An enhanced self-image from exercise may play a role too. Men and women who exercise may be more likely to feel sexually desirable, which can lead to better sex.  So can greater strength, flexibility, and stamina that result from exercise.

In addition, physical activity—especially strength training—can increase levels of testosterone, which may boost sex drive in men and women. However, overtraining can have the opposite effect by lowering testosterone levels. Indeed, a recent study
found that that men who do very vigorous exercise on a regular basis tend to have lower libidos. While this is a potential concern for elite athletes or others who push themselves to the max without adequate recovery, it’s not something that most of us need to worry about.

RELATED: 13 Truths About Sex Every Woman Must Learn Before Turning 30

As for the effect of sex on exercise, the conventional wisdom has long been that pre-competition sexual activity reduces aggression and strength. As Rocky Balboa’s trainer put it in the movie Rocky, “women weaken legs.”

But research has yielded little support for the belief.  One study, which involved former male athletes, measured grip strength the morning after they’d had sex with their wives and then repeated the test after the men had abstained for at least six days. There were no differences in test results. Similarly, another study in male athletes found that sexual activity didn’t affect performance on a cycle stress test. However, subjects who’d had sex two hours before the test had higher heart rates during post-exercise recovery.

Overall, the research suggests that sex before physical activity doesn’t have negative effects as long as there’s a lag of at least two hours and the sexual activity doesn’t also involve alcohol, drugs, or sleep loss. In fact, it’s possible that sex may even enhance athletic performance by helping people relax.

But much remains unknown, including whether women are affected differently than men. It’s likely that the impact of sex on physical activity varies from person to person.

If you’re wondering whether sex counts as exercise, it depends on the length and intensity of your lovemaking. A study of young adults found that sexual activity burned, on average, three or four calories per minute. (Men burned more than women.) The level of intensity was considered moderate, comparable to that of walking or doubles tennis.

For most people, however, sex doesn’t last as long as those other activities, which means it burns fewer calories overall. In the aforementioned study, when sexual activity was compared to a 30-minute, moderately intense workout on a treadmill, the treadmill burned about three times more calories. But sexual activity did come out ahead in one measure: Nearly 100% of participants rated it as more enjoyable.

Adapted from Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day (AMACOM) by Robert J. Davis with Brad Kolowich, Jr.

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Categories
Wellness

3 Ways to Ditch Exhaustion this 4th of July

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4017″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row content_width=”grid”][vc_column][mkdf_section_subtitle color=”” text_align=”left” text=”Freedom, Fireworks and… Fatigue? – By Courtney Wolf” width=””][vc_column_text]While many of us are looking forward to the upcoming Fourth of July holiday (all the festivities, BBQs, picnics, pool parties, fireworks, fireworks and more fireworks!) there are many of us who can’t deny that celebrating and having fun is quite exhaustive.

If the thought of having to host or attend a holiday celebration this Fourth of July makes you feel more dread and less excitement, the following tips may be just the answer you’re looking for. They can help you regain your energy, and maybe even help resurrect that party-loving side of you that you thought for sure was gone forever…or at least busy taking a long nap.[/vc_column_text][mkdf_section_subtitle color=”” text_align=”left” text=”Vitamin Deficiencies” width=””][vc_column_text]If anyone tells you that vitamin deficiencies are a thing of the past in developed countries like the U.S., feel free to smack them. And then blame your improper etiquette on a vitamin deficiency. Truth be told, 92 percent of American adults are deficient in important vitamins like vitamin D, magnesium, and B-12, all of which are vital for good health and optimal energy levels. If you aren’t specifically monitoring your vitamin intake, the exhaustion you’re feeling could be due to a deficiency in one or more of these key vitamins. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 -5,000 IUs, 300mg – 533mg for magnesium, and 2.4mcg for vitamin B-12. There is, however, no RDA for smacking someone.[/vc_column_text][mkdf_section_subtitle color=”” text_align=”left” text=”Adrenal Fatigue” width=””][vc_column_text]If your thyroid levels are in check, yet you still feel drained of energy on a consistent basis, it could be your adrenals. Adrenal fatigue is estimated to affect 80 percent of American adults, most of whom are women. If you regularly feel “tired but wired”, have difficulty concentrating, get light-headed upon standing up, or have unexplained joint and muscle pain, you may want to ask your healthcare provider to run some tests on your adrenal glands.

There are also many herbal supplements that are purportedly good for the adrenals, including holy basil, ashwagandha, and rhodiola. I take a natural supplement designed for adrenal support that contains all three of these herbs, and the change it’s made in my health and overall energy levels is nothing short of amazing. Since the adrenals play a crucial role in regulating the body’s level of the stress hormone cortisol, I also take MD Live Cortisol Stress Hormone Stabilizer. Not only has it helped calm my anxiety and boosted my energy levels, it has also helped reduce inflammation and jumpstart my weight loss efforts. Bonus![/vc_column_text][mkdf_section_subtitle color=”” text_align=”left” text=”Whacked Out Hormones” width=””][vc_column_text]Every woman on the planet knows just how frustrating and annoying hormones can be, whether you’re trying to conceive, trying to plan a special occasion around your period, or simply trying not to wig out on every idiot driver during a PMS-infused daily commute, every woman knows how even the slightest fluctuation in hormone levels can throw their entire system out of whack. This is especially true when it comes to energy levels. If you’re feeling stressed, exhausted, depressed or weepy, there’s a good chance that a hormonal imbalance is to blame. Vitex (also known as Chasteberry) and Black Cohosh are two of my personal favorite herbal supplements for balancing out hormonal fluctuations. However, you may need to schedule an appointment with your doctor if your symptoms are negatively affecting your quality of life, if you’re having a difficult time conceiving, or if you’re experiencing heavier than normal periods.

Having more energy and being in a better mood is often a top priority, regardless if there is a holiday on the horizon or not. After all, if your energy levels are low, it’s hard to accomplish everything on your everyday “to do” list, much less get excited about throwing or attending a party. But with a little healthcare detective work and some vitamins and supplements, you can be back to celebrating in no time – with a drink in one hand and a sparkler in the other.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]