Running & Your Libido
We run for a variety of reasons: our sanity, our health, the social aspect, a competitive outlet and many more. And, quite often, we uncover underlying additional benefits to our running that we weren’t even expecting. One of those benefits could be a healthy libido. It’s doubtful you’ll find a runner who lists a healthy libido as one of their top three or even top ten reasons they run but it is a an excellent perk. How much do you need to run to trigger this benefit? And like all good things, can you run too much or run too many miles that would actually result in the opposite affect? How does running affect your libido?
Any runner knows that getting out for a run makes you feel better mentally and physically but did you know that it is tied into your sex drive? If you have gotten your run in and made other choices throughout the day that you feel are healthy, you are going to be more inclined to feel your best. And often when people feel their best, they also feel attractive and sexy which leads to an openness for intimacy and a higher frequency of it. Anyone who has been training and noticed the benefit it has had on their body can’t help but feel a little better about themselves and the way they look. And you are going to be more apt to put yourself in a situation where someone else can admire the fruits of your running labors and often that situation is in the bedroom.
The increased positive feelings related to your self-image are directly related to feelings of sexual desirability to others; feeling sexually desirable leads to improved sex. And to top it all off, Brooks Running did a study that shows that over 75% of both sexes think that they look sexy while running. That’s not something most people exercising at your local gym can say; that they feel smokin’ hot during their workout.
Hormones & Your Overall Feelings
When we run or exercise there are a release of hormones; two of those hormones are endorphins and adrenaline. Running does not always result in the “Runner’s High” but there is always a release of hormones. This release is a pleasure based sensation and also contributes to reduced stress. Less stress means one less hurdle to overcome in the bedroom.
In general, a better level of fitness leads to a better level of perceived sexual performance. So the next time you rock a race or training run, the likelihood that you carry over that performance expectation to the sheets is pretty high. Post PR nocturnal activities could be some of the best.
Testosterone is released by both men and women when running. Testosterone is the hormone known for getting all of us “in the mood”. The higher the levels of testosterone in a person’s body, the higher their sex drive. This is the cause of the stereotype that men are the randier of the two sexes since they house more testosterone that women. The short-term rush of testosterone released during running does show to increase libido. Yet, the release of testosterone is not the sole factor in women’s increased sexual desire as a result of running. As we know sexual drive is as much mental as it is physical. Women’s reaction to running is related to the sympathetic nervous system which allows them to be ready to get “in the mood” and the release of testosterone.
Boiling it all down the basic physicality of it all, when both men and women exercise on a regular basis orgasms are better. This could mean they are achieved more quickly, are more intense or are longer. Due to the physical work of running, more blood flows to your genital region. It has been suggested that regular exercise is a potent form of natural Viagra for men since men who regularly exercise can have lower erectile concerns. Stamina and increased strength are known benefits of running and they can be applied to activities occurring in the boudoir.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Over-training can cause a reduction in the sex hormones in both men and women. We all have one or two workouts that can, or do, leave us spent but that doesn’t mean we should nix the hard workouts. It means that we should make sure we take rest days and ensure our weekly running schedule is built properly with enough varied workouts that we are not running on fumes. And in reality, in order for there to be a noticeable decease in your libido, you’d need to be running mileage and times at near elite level.
It turns out that the age old “advice” from your high school Coach to abstain from any sexual activity prior to an athletic event has been debunked, at least for men. Assuming you curb the activities to the night before or make sure they occur at least a 2 hours before your run, you should notice no difference in your athletic performance.
Along with the laundry list of other stellar benefits runners can add to their repertoire a healthy sexual appetite is one of them. Next time someone asks why you run, maybe you add a healthy sex drive into your answer to see their reaction. There’s likely no follow up question after that. And who knows, maybe you can convince your significant other to log a few miles with you, especially since it will heat up the sheets.