Could Exercise Be Your Key to Happily Ever After?

Couples who work out have stronger relationships-in and out of the bedroom.
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Could Exercise Be Your Key to Happily Ever After?

Couples who work out have stronger relationships—in and out of the bedroom.

-Deborah Dunham,

Couple running together

A 5K race, a Bikram yoga class or a workout at the gym may not seem like a romantic outing, but a growing group of experts agree that couples who exercise together can not only stave off the extra pounds that are often linked to marriage, but they can strengthen their relationship and their sex life, and possibly live happily ever after.

“When a couple works out together, the actual exercise itself can physically and emotionally have a positive impact,” explained Dr. Jane Greer, a marriage and relationship psychotherapist in New York City and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. “Both partners come away with feelings of synchronicity, cooperative spirit and shared passion. Then you throw in some spicy endorphins and it can be a real power trip for the relationship.”

Greer says sweating it out together is a good way to reduce stress in a relationship while also building better communication and common goals. It’s also a great way to enhance what goes on in the bedroom.

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“This will definitely impact your sex life because exercising helps people feel better,” she said. “It alleviates stress and gives you more energy; you feel better about yourself and your self-esteem increases. If you’re feeling all of that when you’re with your partner, the logical thing is to share that desirability and sexual companionship.”

And research backs that up.

One study by the University of Arkansas found that exercise improves sex. Exercise frequency was attributed to enhanced feelings of attractiveness and increased energy levels—both of which can increase sexual desirability and performance.

Another study reported that women were more sexually responsive following 20 minutes of vigorous exercise (think: hot, sweaty yoga class with hip-opening poses). Men also reap similar sexual rewards. Short intense exercise is linked with increased testosterone levels, which help stimulate sexual desire and behavior.

And this increased friskiness doesn’t just apply to young couples either. In a Harvard University study of 160 male and female swimmers in their 40s and 60s, regular physical activity was associated with more frequency and enjoyment of sex. Interestingly enough, swimmers in their 60s actually reported sex lives comparable to those in their 40s.

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