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Lifestyle Changes that Could Save Your Sex Life & Relationships

When a client comes to see me for the first time, I invariably ask about their sex life, regardless of what has brought them to therapy.

Why? Often, when we’re struggling with our relationships or our physical and mental health, this will be expressed in the form of sexual problems. Sometimes, this happens before we’re even consciously aware that there’s something else going on.

This is because our sexual functioning is closely linked to so many important aspects of what makes a person healthy and happy. By taking steps to improve our sex lives through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, we can benefit in so many ways! Read on to discover 3 simple, evidence-based strategies for improving your sexual functioning and overall health.



Exercise

You didn’t come here for a lecture, so I’m not going to bore you with facts that you already know about how exercising can reduce your risk of obesity, chronic illness, malaise, misery, and even death. I will tell you, however, that exercising is likely to spice up your sex life.

For example, one study showed that men who spend 60 minutes exercising 3 or 4 times per week have intercourse more often and are more likely to have more satisfying orgasms. Another study showed that women who exercise experience greater sexual arousal in response to an erotic movie.

Fortunately, you don’t need to conquer Everest or bike the Tour De France to access these sorts of health benefits: this study showed that a simple daily walking routine can reduce erectile dysfunction by a staggering 71% and other research has shown that just 20 minutes on a treadmill significantly increases blood flow to the vagina.

Yoga

The yoga industry has blossomed into an industry worth millions and this speaks to the fact that millennials are finally catching on to what some people have known for centuries: yoga is good for your physical and mental health, promoting an overall sense of peace and wellbeing! But does it make you better in bed? Research suggests that this may well be the case, with yoga improving overall sexual function in both men and women.

Yoga has benefits above and beyond simply hitting the gym because it includes a meditative component that trains you to avoid distractions and focus completely on the present (sexy) moment. Additionally, yoga often incorporates principles of mindfulness – a meditation technique that has been shown to have a powerful effect on our levels of sexual desire and satisfaction.

Furthermore, medical researchers believe that yoga could help men improve ejaculatory control, and thereby improve partner satisfaction and the relationship in general. And while yoga may not be a recognized treatment method (there are other treatments for men with premature ejaculation), it could help those of you who are looking for those few extra minutes.

Diet

We all know that a healthy diet is vital for maintaining general health. But food can also be integral to your sexual health, having a powerful effect on your performance and libido. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to eat nothing but salad!

You can start with nuts: think almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts. All of these boost your sex drive and help protect against infertility because they contain selenium and vitamin E, which the body uses for testicular development, as well as sperm and testosterone production. If you are a fan of the greens, on the other hand, why not go for some avocados, swiss chard, turnips, or spinach? All of these also include vitamin E and selenium, making them powerful sex-life boosters.

What about aphrodisiacs such as chocolate and wine – have you ever wondered why these make for such great Valentine’s day gifts? It’s not a coincidence that these foods are considered romantic. For example, this study shows that a regular glass of wine leads to more sexual desire and increased vaginal lubrication, whilst this one showed that women who eat chocolate are more likely to crave sex (when they’re not craving more chocolate, that is). Also, keep in mind that moderate amounts of chocolate and alcohol increase your levels of dopamine and serotonin – brain chemicals that are responsible for experiences of pleasure and love.

Summing Up

We all want to be healthy. Unfortunately, there’s no magic supplement that you can take to achieve this overnight – although there’s also no shortage of pseudoscientific scamsters trying to convince you otherwise!

Our health is an amazingly complex construct that can be affected by so many different things. This means that when you make even a single healthy change to your daily lifestyle, you stand to benefit from a cascade of positive health outcomes. Of course, starting a new habit is sometimes easier said than done, but by implementing the pointers we have discussed here today, you could start to see immediate improvements not just your sex life, but also your physical, mental, and social well-being.

Daniel Sher

Daniel Sher

Daniel Sher is a registered clinical psychologist, practicing in Cape Town South Africa. He serves as a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic, which provides sex-therapy online programs. A component of his training and practice involves working in the context of sexual and sex-related issues. Practice aside, Daniel is... Read More

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