A sudden dip in sex drive can be disturbing. While some might automatically think it’s due to low testosterone, a lot of things can affect libido, including late nights, long hours at work, and underlying relationship issues.
Dr. Myles Spar, chief medical officer of Vault Health– the first men’s telehealth startup offering direct-to-consumer prescription treatments testosterone replacement therapy to optimize their physical, sexual, and cognitive health– is an expert in integrative men’s healthcare and has tips on how men can improve their sexual health.
In fact, staying fit can help a number of things, including libido. Here are Dr. Spar’s top 5 exercises to boost libido.
1. Weight Lifting – Science suggests lifting weights improves sex drive by encouraging your body to produce more testosterone. Since healthy testosterone levels are associated with sexual desire, doing exercises that can increase testosterone may also amp up your libido.
2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – HIIT is one of the most effective fat-burning workouts you can do, and it can also bump up your libido. Intense cardiovascular exercise like HIIT is an excellent way to blow off steam because it lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Elevated cortisol has been shown to significantly reduce testosterone, so keeping your stress in check is crucial for maintaining a healthy sex drive.
3. Yoga – The number of American men doing yoga grew from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016. Why are guys suddenly so interested in yoga? Maybe because they’re catching on to the many health benefits this practice provides—including improved sexual health. A 2010 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control. Plus, because yoga involves stretching and getting your energy flowing, the practice has the potential to improve your libido and also helps with flexibility, which your partner(s) will likely appreciate.
4. Swimming – Want to enhance your endurance, build muscle, and get a great cardio workout? Go for a swim. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the kind of fitness that comes from swimming regularly can really give you a leg up in the bedroom. In a Harvard study of 160 swimmers, participants in their 60s reported sex lives comparable to average, non-swimming people in their 40s.
5. Kegels – You may think of kegels as an exercise for women (if you think of them at all), but this squeezing of your pubococcygeus (PC) muscles—the ones you use to stop the flow of urine mid-stream—can lead to better sexual endurance and control.
But with all this exercise, don’t forget to rest. Remember it is possible to overdo it when it comes to exercise, and working out too hard may actually decrease testosterone. So don’t skip those rest days!