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Fitness and your relationship

Valentine’s Day is a good time to assess the past year’s stats and set up a strategy for recovery or celebrate hitting target. For many, the spreadsheet is disappointing, many months static at zero with much need for continued growth.

Looking back at the trends in last year’s love making gives you a lot to think about, especially if the numbers are dismal.

Although they don’t admit it, many people have low libidos and this can have a profound effect on their relationship.  Women in particular can experience extremes in their sex drive, while men are generally more consistent and ready for action. Women need more of the emotional connection, while for men the act is solitary, confined to its little compartment with no overlap to feelings.

Regardless of how attentive and loving a partner may be, the key to a healthy regular sex life comes down to how one feels about themselves. The three main reasons that seem to dampen a sex life are TIREDNESS, STRESS and LOW SELF ESTEEM.

So what will lead to a better sex life?

  1. WEIGHTS AND WALKING: I believe that the number one solution to improving one’s sex life is exercise. That’s because a big part of sex is feeling sexy and research shows that people who exercise have an improved body image. The more comfortable you are with your body the more relaxed you’ll be having sex. Studies also show that men and women who are physically fit rate their own sexual performance and desirability higher. As the number of days exercise per week increased, so did the ratings of sexual desirability. The more regular our exercise, the better we feel about ourselves. The better we feel about ourselves, the greater our sex drive. Working out at moderate to high levels causes the release of chemicals known as endorphins and adrenaline which create feelings of pleasure and well-being. Endorphins reduce stress, a major sex drive inhibitor and increase sexual arousal in women.
  2. CUT OUT THE CRAP: The biggest culprit that continually knocks sex hormones out of balance is sugar in all its various forms, which raises insulin. In men, insulin resistance brought on by excessive amounts of sugar drives down testosterone, the hormone responsible for numerous functions including sexual well-being. Imbalanced levels of this hormone in women can reduce desire, increase body fat, lower muscle mass and affect memory. Feeling tired may be down to lack of good quality sleep but lethargy is more often than not diet related. Blood sugar peaks and troughs leave you feeling depleted of energy because of the dependence on carbohydrates to get through the day. The empty calories do nothing for energy levels and the sugar leaves you craving more and more, until you become fatigued, lethargic, even depressed. Not only that, but feeling sluggish, bloated and uncomfortable will mean the only bedroom activity in mind is sleep. Choose low- glycaemic real foods including high quality animal and vegetarian protein, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds for love making energy. Other poor lifestyle habits such as drinking and smoking and being chronically stressed all diminish sex hormone balance.
  3. CHANGE YOUR STATE: Often people don’t realise that things have gone stale in their physical  relationship. Being stuck in a rut can lead to needless arguments and partners feeling rejected. Thinking about what attracted you in the first place and visualising the early romantic connection can reignite the passion, and motivate you to make more of an effort. If you aren’t happy with yourself, do something about it. Getting dressed up, going out together, or just enjoying a film at home, a little bit of romance can go a long way in improving the relationship. Often people take their partner for granted, and place too much emphasis on other areas of their lives. If you value being together the effort to be close is worth it, this includes an emotional and physical connection.

Losing weight takes effort. And so the reward needs to be worth the effort. Visualising your end goal and the happiness that will bring is crucial to getting there.

Sex is a powerful motivator, especially if you’re not having any. Those whose drive to lose weight is sex related usually succeed. That’s because the idea of enjoying an active sex life is not only physically rewarding, but the rewards go far beyond that magic moment of nirvana (Yes men they do!)

If losing weight leads to an active sex life, then there will be more intimacy, attraction, self-esteem and ultimately the enjoyment of love.

At this time of year we are reminded of romance and encouraged to display love and affection to our significant other. Restaurants, hotels and florists capitalise on this idea, and we feel obliged to buy into it. Some love the whole idea of red roses and candlelit dinners while others endure going through the motions. And what happens at the end of it all, how many couples go home and rip each other’s clothes off.

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