If you’ve read The Song of Solomon, you know that God is no prude. He desires for us to have a rich, passionate sex life with our spouses. If your sex life isn’t quite what you want it to be—or even if it is—there is an easy way to rev up your libido: get in shape. Even a simple exercise like walking can boost your fitness level and improve your sex life. Follow some of these tips from Mark Stibich, Ph.D. and Maryanne Fisher, Ph.D.

Walk for Better Health

Walking is one of the easiest things you can do to get in better physical shape. As with any exercise, start slow. At your current fitness level, you may only be able to walk for 15 minutes every other day. After a week or so, walk for 15 minutes every day. Gradually increase your time until you are able to walk for at least 30 minutes every day. Over time, you will strengthen your cardiovascular system, increase your muscle tone, strengthen your bones and perhaps even lose a few pounds. Better health translates into better sex.

Improve Sexual Performance

When you exercise, you have better circulation and blood flow. You are less likely to feel winded and will have more energy and less fatigue. You will also lower your risk of injury during sex. “All night long” may not be too far from the truth! 

Release Feel-Good Endorphins

Exercise, including walking, can give you that fabled “runner’s high” that comes from the release of endorphins. These same hormones are released during sexual activity. The more frequent and intense the endorphin releases—whether from a night of passion or your morning walk—the easier it is for your body to feel sexual arousal and pleasure. 

Endorphins released during exercise cause an elevated mood, lowered blood pressure and lower stress levels. After cooling off and relaxing, another hormone, oxytocin, is released. By the time you finish your brisk walk and cool-down, you will feel happy, relaxed and content—much better for setting “the mood” than feeling stressed or tired.

Reduce Sexual Aging

Getting older is part of life, but a lackluster sex life doesn’t have to be. Surveys indicate that those at least 60 years old who exercise regularly have the same amount of sex and sexual pleasure as their younger counterparts. One study examined the sex life of 60-year-old swimmers and discovered that their sexual frequency and satisfaction ratings were the same as those only in their 40s. 

Similarly, regular walking can reduce instances of erectile dysfunction. ED is more often than not caused by circulatory issues. Cardiovascular problems, such as blocked arteries or high blood pressure, can make it difficult for a man to maintain an erection. By walking regularly, you improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of impotence.

Promote a Better Self Image

Without a doubt, part of sex is feeling sexy. When you exercise, you feel better about yourself. When you have a positive self image, you have more and better sex. That might sound to good to be true, but research by Penhollow and Young (2004) shows that frequent exercise and better physical fitness leads to a positive self-perception and increased energy levels, which may cause people to feel they are more desirable and lead to better sexual performance. 

According to the study, 80 percent of men and 60 percent of women who exercised two or three times each week rated their own sexual desirability as above average. The more a person exercised, the higher he or she rated his or her sexual desirability. Not surprisingly, those who rated themselves as more sexually desirable had more sex.

The bottom line is, there is no negative effect of adding a brisk walk to your daily routine. You will feel healthier, more energized and ready for a night of passion with the love of your life. What are you waiting for? Put on your walking shoes!

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