We know we know. There’s health benefits. Its good for us. We’ll get a bikini body. Minimize cellulite and live a longer life…
It’s all well and good having that knowledge, but actually exercising and getting out there to do it, well… for some of us, that’s easier said that done.
However, if you’re experiencing a low sex drive, it turns out exercise could be a key component in reviving desire.
Of course, exercise makes us feel good (and look good too) which is helpful if you experience issues around confidence in your body.
But in fact there’s a much more scientific reason about why getting your heart rate up could make a huge difference to your sex life.
The sciency bit about why exercise works to get you feeling horny
Emily Nagoski, in her book “Come as You Are: the surprising science that will transform your sex life” writes about the idea of the stress response cycle.
Basically, when we see a stressor (this used to be something like a lion/tiger/bear) our brains go into fight or flight mode via the hormone cortisol being pumped into our blood stream.
Cortisol gets us ready for survival, and anything not needed to stay alive (e.g. getting the horn) is shut down in favour of being able to run or fight.
We don’t WANT sex, or need it, because cortisol is running around saying “hang on mate- we’re trying to survive here first and foremost, the D is LITERALLY the last thing we need”.
As they always say- if a tiger is chasing you, you don’t exactly feel horny, do you?
So- the way to reduce all this cortisol pumping around your body, peskily shutting down your desire?
Running away from the stressor keeps us alive (pretty handy ey?), BUT ALSO the act of escaping reduces our cortisol levels because we know we’re now safe.
Getting our heart pumping actually tricks the body and mind into thinking we’ve run far enough from our stressors that we’re safe, and our brains can reset to relax (and therefore, increase desire).
Because nowadays we have different stressors (e.g. work, the kids or the washing up) we often can’t outrun them- they’re part of our everyday life (chronic stress).
Many of us have super high stress levels, and because our bodies are in survival mode almost permanently, we’ve got a constant supply of cortisol curtailing our sexual desires.
So, just going for a run once isn’t going to make much of a difference (sadly).
Escaping your stress means taking up regular exercise that can reduce those levels of cortisol in your system on a long term basis.
Because stress is cumulative, so too needs to be your exercise routine to continue to trick your body into feeling safe again.
So to really make a difference, try to get your heart rate up a few times a week and see how that releases stress and leaves your mind freer to focus on and enjoy other things.
Who knows- you might even find sex is a great way to both get your pulse rate soaring as well as relieve any stress!
How about you, do you find exercise impacts on your sex drive?