Sex files: Running and sexual ability

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Forget popping the little blue pills and pop on your running shoes, instead. It seems there’s a link between treadmill endurance and sexual endurance, according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology that monitored both treadmill and sexual performance. The results clearly showed a ratio of each extra minute lasted on the treadmill translating to an extra two to three minutes of sexual activity.

There’s more good news when it comes to reaching the finish line. One University of California study found that after following a moderate aerobic regime four times a week for nine months, male subjects had sex 30 per cent more often, and with 26 per cent more orgasms. A second study, conducted with volunteers of both sexes over a period of 18 years at the Center for Marital and Sexual Studies in Long Beach, California, found regular exercisers consistently reached orgasm easiest and most often.

There’s a note of caution to add, however. To take advantage of your enhanced physical state you must first be broadly in the right psychological frame of mind, says psychologist Dr Petra Boynton. ‘There’s a lot of stuff to be read about how more exercise automatically means more and better sex,’ she says. ‘That’s not necessarily the case. If you’re not having much sex, you need to look at why you’re not – especially if you’re in a relationship. Has something happened in your past that has blocked you? Are you fundamentally low on confidence and embarrassed to let go? If so, getting physically fitter is not going to solve these issues, you need to talk to someone to get to the root of the problem.

‘It’s also always important that you trust your instincts and do what makes you feel good,’ says Boynton. ‘Getting a better body might allow you to try new things, but while swinging from the chandelier may be great for some people, it’s not right for everybody, so it’s important not to believe that as you increase your exercise you suddenly have to start having more sex and in wacky ways.’ In other words, if your improved fitness simply gives you the physical and mental confidence, and ability, to be more intimate with your partner, even if you don’t actually change much about how you have sex, that’s fine.