Can Exercise Improve Your Sex Life?

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Can exercise improve your sex life? Emory University researchers report that men 40 and younger who participate in exercise outside the bedroom will enjoy better sexual function, orgasm, and intercourse behind closed doors. This suggests that young men need to get up off the couch and exercise for sex if they want to enjoy better sexual function, according to a new study.

Earlier studies found an association between erectile dysfunction and lack of exercise among middle-aged men, along with a direct correlation between greater physical activity and an improvement in erectile function. However, researchers had not studied the impact of exercise on sexual function in healthy younger men.

The study group included 78 healthy men aged 18 to 40 years who were classified based on how much exercise they participated in each week: 27 men who burned 1,400 calories or less per week (considered to be sedentary), and 51 who burned more than 1,400 calories per week (categorized as active). Both the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) Test and Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire were used to help the authors arrive at their conclusions.

Men who were less physically active also experienced more difficulties in the bedroom, as they had significantly increased erectile dysfunction and problems with orgasm, and less satisfaction with intercourse and their sexual experiences overall. One factor that did not appear to be affected by exercise was sexual desire, which was similar for both groups of young men.

Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.


Hsiao W et al. Exercise is associated with better erectile function in men under 40 as evaluated by the International index of erectile function. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2012 Feb; 9(2): 524-30

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