This Is Exactly Why You Get Turned on When You Work Out
Experts explain why a good workout gets you in the mood every now and then.
If you've ever felt yourself get "in the mood" while exercising, it's nothing to be ashamed of. "Being active is a potent aphrodisiac for both women and men," Tina M. Penhollow, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion at Florida Atlantic University, told Aaptiv. In fact, it's likely due to biology more than it is your ego about how good you look while doing arm curls in front of a mirror.
To find out why you might be feeling extra good when you're working out, we consulted the experts and it turns out, there are a lot of ways pumping iron does your body extra good. Read on to find out more, and for other factors that affect your sex life, check out Men With These 3 Personality Traits Have the Most Sex, Study Shows.
Working out affects your hormones.
"Workouts, especially lower-body ones, cause the body to secrete hormones like testosterone," personal trainer Nick Liguori told Well+Good recently. "This increases the blood flow to your reproductive organs, which ignites your libido."
A rush of testosterone during exercise not only leads to increased arousal in men—it affects women, too. "Exercise has been shown to affect a variety of hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, prolactin, and testosterone, all of which have been linked to sexual arousal in women," a team of University of Texas, Austin, researchers wrote in a 2018 report on the subject. And if you're looking to move more, whatever the reason, here are 21 Easy Ways to Get in More Exercise Every Day.
And it increases physiological arousal.
A 2008 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, found a "significant increase in physiological sexual arousal with exercise" in female participants.
Indiana University professor Debby Herbenick, who's conducted research on the topic, wrote in her book The Coregasm Workout that as many as 1 in 10 women and 1 in 12 men have experienced an exercise-induced orgasm at some point in their life. But interestingly enough, most of the people in Herbenick's 2012 study—called "Exercise-Induced Orgasm and Pleasure Among Women"—reported they weren't even thinking about sex at the time.
There's one exercise in particular that can lead to an orgasm.
As far as the specific exercises that can cause you to orgasm, Herbenick told Insider it's the hanging leg raise, which "involves resting your arms and back against a chair-like support while your legs dangle freely. Then, you engage your abs and slowly raise your knees up to your chest. You can also keep your legs straight and extend them forward so your body forms an L-shape."
But sometimes, running can also do the same.
Some people also told Herbenick they had orgasms from running, but only if they were doing it for more than 20 minutes.
Running before a core workout can also increase the likelihood of experiencing an exercise-induced orgasm, Herbenick said. This is likely for a couple of reasons: 1) It activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for sexual response, and 2) It gets the blood flowing throughout your body, including to your pelvic region, which boosts arousal.
So if improving your mental health, losing weight, and helping protect against any number of serious diseases and medical conditions aren't enough to motivate you to start focusing on your fitness, add increasing your libido to the list of amazing benefits regular exercise has to offer. And to help you get started, here are The 50 Best 5-Minute Exercises Anyone Can Do.