Logging more time on the roads might mean some better time under the sheets.


  • New research on cyclists, runners, and swimmers finds that getting well above the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) exercise a week improves sexual function and satisfaction.
  • Running 4.5 hours at a brisk pace each week lowered the odds of erectile dysfunction in men by 23 percent.
  • For women, brisk running for 4 hours per week reduced odds of sexual dysfunction by 30 percent.

Exercise isn’t just good for your heart health—it’s also really good for your love life: Even if you are already active, exercising longer or more vigorously can give you even more bang for your buck in the bedroom, new research finds.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, included an international group of 3,906 men (average age 41 to 45) and 2,264 women (average age 31 to 35), all of whom were runners, cyclists, swimmers, and/or multisport athletes.

The recreational athletes completed anonymous surveys about how much they exercised each week as well as their sexual function, including any issues with erectile dysfunction for men and arousal difficulties for women.

After crunching the numbers, a clear trend emerged: The more the men and women exercised, the better their sexual function and satisfaction.

Strikingly, men who ran enough to burn about 4,000 calories a week—or 4.5 hours a week at a 7-minute mile pace for a 155 pound man—reduced their odds of erectile dysfunction by nearly a quarter.

Women, too, saw their sexual function, including arousal and orgasm satisfaction, improve with higher levels of exercise, especially once they reached levels of about 4 hours per week of running.

Running a 7 minute mile pace for 4 hours per week, the equivalent of burning about 3,100 calories a week for a 140 pound woman, was associated with 30 percent reduced odds of female sexual dysfunction.

“While both groups benefited from increasing levels of exercise, women seemed to gain the most in terms of self-reported orgasm function and arousal by being in the most intense exercise group,” study author Benjamin Breyer, M.D., associate professor of urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at University of California, San Francisco, told Bicycling.

The bedroom boost can likely be explained in the same way that exercise helps your heart: Healthy arteries and good circulation help ensure all your parts are functioning at their best.

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Want to run even more? Have at it. “We never saw a point where exercise was counterproductive—that it created more sexual dysfunction—in men and women,” said Breyer, who is also chief of urology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

Even those who ran lots—burning a whopping 8,260 calories, or the equivalent of about 9 hours of running a week—continued to enjoy improved sexual function.

A true love for sports

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