It’s true! Eating well, exercise and being a healthy weight with a healthy body fat % is very likely to increase a person’s sex drive. HOWEVER it’s not for the reasons you might think.
So not many people are going to feel particularly confident, sexy or energetic if they’re carrying an extra two stone and haven’t been able to fit into their ‘nice’ bottom drawer underwear for 5 years, and yes therefore becoming healthier will help address these physical and psychological issues, but the changes go deeper to actual physiological changes that occur within the body, one side effect of these being, an improved sex drive.
THE PROBLEM: STRESS. When the body is put under stress, the endocrine system, or hormonal messenger system, slows down.
Stress can be actual ‘bad day at work’ stress, but can also be toxins such as cigarettes, alcohol and pollution, processed food, exercising too hard or in the wrong way for too long, too little sleep, or illness, even the common cold.
Stress is a fight or flight response, and cavemen would never have lived to keep the human race going if they’d stopped to oogle at the women in their camp whilst trying to run from a sabre toothed tiger.
The longer stress goes on, the less your hormones are allowed to communicate properly, and that includes the hormones responsible for reproduction and sex drive.
THE SCIENCE: Dr Peter Biro, an Australian academic, identified evidence from numerous studies that exercising more, and having a higher metabolism, leads people to exhibit personality traits that include a higher sex drive.
It’s thought that the effect on the hormones testosterone and adrenaline are responsible, two hormones linked with regular exercise. Biro goes on to demonstrate: “Male crickets with sex on their mind tend to call to attract mates more who have higher metabolisms, than those with slower metabolism.” Well if it works for crickets…
SOLUTION: High Intensity Interval Training combined with lots of walking, clean eating of lower starch and sugar foods to restore insulin (another hormone) sensitivity.
This type of exercise also increases testosterone levels which in turn increases libido, but fear not ladies, it is nowhere near enough to make you ‘masculine’ or ‘bulk up’ in any way!
Brain chemicals responsible for mood and happiness such as dopamine also become more balanced, and are important if self-esteem is to be high and to keep depression and low mood a rare or non-existent occurrence.
And if you don’t fancy a workout today, I can think of other ways to work up a sweat……