By Janine Dilger
There are many good reasons to start moving toward a healthier life; but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, isn’t the thought of putting a little spark back into your sex life a great place to start?
It’s a fact that consistent physical activity—such as walking— holds an abundance of benefits for both men and women. Not only does regular exercise help fight heart disease and other chronic health conditions, it can have a profound impact on mood, is known to combat depression, enhances cognitive function, memory, and creativity.
But, if you knew that the benefits of regular exercise spilled over into the bedroom, would that finally be enough to get you moving?
For starters, regular physical activity is known to increase blood circulation, which in turn, improves energy levels and offers a healthy glow. But, behind those rosy cheeks, studies show that increased blood circulation also increases arousal for women.
Most women know that much of what happens—or doesn’t happen—in the bedroom is hinged on a boatload of other factors, from stress to self-confidence; it’s all about the mindset.
So, here’s a few things to consider: exercising is known to release endorphins, washing away tension, relieving stress and clearing the brain of mental clutter. And, if you’re consistent with it, an added benefit to regular exercise is that you’ll improve your physical appearance too.
Walking up to 30 minutes a day can help with losing moderate weight, maintaining weight loss and toning muscles; and when women feel good about how they look, their confidence increases too. The bottom line for women is when you are consciously looking after your body and your health; you can’t help but to feel more attractive.
Men, though certainly wired differently than women, are not as different as one may think. For them, regular exercise increases testosterone by toning and adding muscle mass that, in turn, improves body image. An increase in self-esteem helps to increase stamina and energy, all ingredients for a healthy sex drive.
On a physiological level, increased blood circulation—one of the benefits of regular exercise—has been shown to decrease incidence of erectile dysfunction. An article on breakingmuscle.com reported on the findings of a 2010 study that found, “Men who were moderately active--walking briskly just thirty minutes a day, four days a week, or the equivalent--were about two-thirds less likely to have sexual dysfunction than their sedentary counterparts.”
These are all great reasons to get off the couch and get moving. But, the best thing about all of this is that it takes two to tango; you don’t have to do it alone.
According to an article by Jennifer Landa of BodyLogicMD, “cardiovascular exercise, such as running, rollerblading or even a pick-up game of basketball can rev up beta-endorphins, which will cause your heart to race and your blood to flow to all the right places.”
She suggests that if you get active with your partner you’ll find that your desire almost doubles.
To have both parties working toward the same end is motivating. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you’ll become more attractive to your partner—and vise versa. Plus, in addition to the many physical benefits of regular exercise, there is valuable emotional connection to be gained by spending time together being active.
It’s win-win all around.
So, this Valentine’s Day, maybe skip the heavy pasta dinner and try a romantic walk, holding hands or a couple’s trip to the gym instead. Who knows where that will end?
Actually... now we do.
Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.
You could say that Jim Wachtel occupies a front-row seat in the corporate health and wellness industry. And, because of his job as a health care cost-containment strategist, he spends a lot of time in that seat, whether it’s in his office, in his car, or on an airplane travelling for work.
Now, he's literally taking steps toward better health without compromising his productivity. Read how he's no longer sitting down on the job with the Walktop Treadmill desk by Fitneff.