The new season brings along with it new and exciting things. A new wardrobe, cooler weather and a thing some people like to call “Cuffing Season”. Cuffing season was made up so that people will have a significant other and won’t be alone during the holidays.
When you “cuff” the one you quote on quote “love”, there’s bound for some sparks to fly. Staying indoors because it’s too cold to go outside usually leads to cuddling that more times than not, turns into more and you want to make sure it all goes down right so that both sides are happy and satisfied in the end.
But did you know that being unhealthy and out of shape can lower the chances of that?
My male clients can attest to the benefits of how being in shape has helped them in the bedroom. They’re always coming back to me telling me how their stamina has increased and that their partner is extremely satisfied now that they’re in better shape.
So, don’t take for granted how being healthy and fit can improve what goes down between the sheets.
What Hinders Sexual Performance?
Being overweight can affect your libido. What is your libido? Your libido is just a fancy word for your sex drive. According to a recent study conducted by Duke University, “up to 30% of obese people seeking help controlling their weight indicate problems with sex drive, desire, performance, or all three.” Often, the latest research shows, these problems can be traced to physical conditions that co-exist with obesity.
“Medical conditions such as high cholesterol and insulin resistance [an early indicator of type 2 diabetes] do have the ability to impact sexual performance, which in turn impacts desire, particularly in men,” says Andrew McCollough, MD, director of sexual health.
Both conditions can cause the tiny arteries in the penis to shut down, particularly when vessel-clogging fatty deposits begin to form, McCollough says impotence or erectile dysfunction is often the result.
1. High Blood Pressure
Excess sodium can increase blood pressure and limit blood flow. High blood pressure has negative sexual effects for both men and women: It can lead to erectile dysfunction in men, and reduce blood flow to the vagina in women.
Certain blood pressure medications can cause undesired sexual side effects. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any negative side effects as an alternative medication may be available.
2. High Cholesterol
A diet high in saturated fat and/or trans fats can increase “bad” LDL cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol may lead to buildup of plaque in arteries, which can limit blood flow and contribute to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of most heart disease.
3. Weight Gain
Being too heavy can impair your sexual functioning. Sierra says being overweight can cause hormonal imbalances and, if you’re trying to get pregnant, can disturb the growth of a healthy egg.
In men, a big belly keeps the sperm too warm, affecting their quality and motility. Tsang adds that reaching a healthy weight often improves a person’s sex life. “My clients often say that when they lose excess weight, they’re happier in the bedroom.”
The more body fat you have, the higher your levels of a natural chemical known as SHBG (short for sex hormone binding globulin). It’s aptly named because it binds to the sex hormone testosterone.
Doctors theorize that the more testosterone that is bound to SHBG, the less there is available to stimulate desire.
While body image can hinder both men and women, experts agree that women feel the impact more.
In fact, Kellogg reports that even women who have loving partners can still view themselves as sexually unattractive if their body image doesn’t conform to the “norm.”
“If a woman doesn’t find herself to be sexually appealing, she will believe she is not sexually appealing to her partner, even if he tells her she is,” says Kellogg.
What Helps Sexual Performance?
The information surrounding the desire-and-performance-enhancing effects of certain foods is still being researched but a good diet can boost libido and ensure that the equipment is working well, so to speak.
A poor diet contributes to a host of health issues, which can often find their way into the bedroom. For example, erectile dysfunction is often linked to obesity and/or diabetes, both conditions that are often linked to poor diet.
Changing your eating habits and behaviors may not be a cure-all for sexual issues, but it’s a good place to start. Food is an important part of everyday life, so it only makes sense that a person’s eating habits can affect their sex life.
1. Wine & Dine Together
In a very real sense, the brain is the most important sex organ. Sex begins with affection, intimacy, and desire.
Mealtime is a great time to unwind with your partner and build intimacy in a relaxed, pleasurable setting.
Fueling the body with the right kinds of food has been linked to better mood and greater energy.
Omega-3s improve heart health, and may reduce the risk of depression (which is often linked to the loss of sexual desire) by increasing dopamine production, and may have a positive impact on libido.
A consistently healthy diet may help maintain a better mood to support a healthy relationship.
This amino acid is used by the body to make nitric oxide, an important chemical involved in helping blood vessels relax, which correlates with better blood flow. Better blood flow to the erectile tissues, especially the erectile tissues in the penis, correlates with better, more sustainable erections.
Arginine is found in foods such as:
Although the link between zinc and sexual health is not completely understood, it is known that this mineral is interrelated with the body’s production of testosterone, and is necessary for development of sperm/semen in men.
Adequate zinc may boost male fertility.
Zinc and other nutrients, such as folate, may also impact female fertility. Traditionally, oysters have been viewed as aphrodisiacs, capable of kindling sexual desire. There may be something to this myth—oysters are nature’s richest source of this essential element.
Always be supportive of a partner’s weight-loss journey. Body weight is tied to self-esteem and body image for most people. If you are aware that your partner is an emotional eater, offer your support. Criticizing or looking over your partner’s shoulder while they are eating will not foster good feelings when eating together. Be supportive, not destructive.
Last but not least,
6. Sweat Together!
Working out increases your testosterone levels which in return, increases your sex drive. Don’t worry ladies, you would have to lift crazy amounts of weight for your testosterone to reach concerning levels. But there’s nothing better than working out with your significant other, releasing those feel good endorphins, getting all hot and sweaty only to fuel the fire for some more action later in the bedroom!
So go get healthy and bring sexy back to the bedroom!