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Getting in shape for better sex

When you’re trying to please your partner, a weak core could lead to exhaustion before either partner has finished, while poor cardio health could leave you gasping for air. In any case, being in good shape will make sex not only easier, but also more enjoyable for both parties.

There’s scientific evidence that exercising on a regular basis can improve sexual function and that men who exercise more often are less likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction. While exercising regularly is a good place to start, there are some exercises that are better than others for sexual health and performance.

Per the American Heart Association, regular moderate to vigorous activity throughout each week improves overall cardiovascular health. This combined with a healthy diet can help you control your weight, and your body will thank you for it. One of the ways it will thank you is by improving your ability and endurance when performing physical activities.

A meta-analysis of five studies involving nearly 400 men indicated that aerobic training in particular was effective at treating erectile dysfunction.

So, where do you begin? The Mayo Clinic recommends you start slowly, such as with a regular walking routine, working up to a brisk pace or a jog. But you can also use an elliptical at the gym, or go for a hike or swim. Anything that gets and keeps your heart rate up for an extended period of time works. Pick an activity that you enjoy so you will stick with it regularly.

When we talk about your core, we’re talking about all of the muscles in your midsection.

Training your core muscles can be done in a variety of ways, including abdominal crunches, pushups, and planks. To ensure you’re hitting all of the muscles of your core, include side planks, which will tone and strengthen the muscles along your sides, making it easier to switch positions and stay balanced.

Perform a side plank by lying on your side and raising yourself up onto your elbow, keeping your hip off the floor and legs either stacked or staggered. Your shoulder should be positioned directly above your elbow, and your body should be in a straight line. When this becomes easy, raise yourself farther by coming off your elbow and onto your hand. Breathe and hold for several seconds before switching sides.

A strong core will help you maintain balance in bed (and elsewhere, if you get more adventurous). But there are other body-weight exercises that can help ensure stability.

Mountain climbers activate many of the muscle groups you use during sex, including your core, shoulders, and arms, and require balance and coordination, too. Get in pushup position and bring one leg forward so your knee comes under your chest. Keep your back straight the entire time, and switch legs. Move back and forth between legs like you are running.

Side lunges are another good way to improve balance and coordination. Lunge to the left, keeping your left knee directly over your foot. Push off and raise yourself to standing, lifting the left leg off the ground and balancing on the right leg momentarily before going back into a lunge position. Make sure to do both sides.

Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in both men and women. In addition to their effect on urinary and colon function, Kegel exercises may also have added benefits in the realm of sexual activity and function.

Identify your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine midstream. The muscles that keep you from passing gas also support your pelvic floor. The Mayo Clinic suggests tightening these muscles for 3 seconds before relaxing them for 3 seconds, and doing at least 3 sets of 10 repetitions each day. Also, don’t make a habit of performing Kegel exercises while urinating once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles.