Last week, we reported the one thing women need for better sex: more sleep.
Now, some good news for men. Scientists have uncovered your key to sexual success, too: more exercise.
New research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function.
Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that men who reported more frequent exercise, a total of 18 metabolic equivalents (or METS) per week, had higher sexual function scores, regardless of race. MET hours reflect both the total time of exercise and the intensity of exercise.
A total of 18 METS can be achieved by combining exercises with different intensities but is the equivalent of two hours of strenuous exercise, such as running or swimming, 3.5 hours of moderate exercise, or six hours of light exercise.
"This study is the first to link the benefits of exercise in relation to improved erectile and sexual function in a racially diverse group of patients," said senior author Adriana Vidal in a press release. African-American men have been underrepresented in past studies of similar nature.
For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data from nearly 300 people. The participants self-reported their activity levels, which researchers then categorized as sedentary, mildly active, moderately active, or highly active. The subjects also self-reported their sexual function, including the ability to have erections, orgasms, the quality and frequency of erections, and overall sexual function.
Ultimately, they found that they found that men — regardless of ethnicity — who exercised less reported lower levels of sexual function. Additional contributors to low sexual function included diabetes, older age, past or current smoking, and coronary artery disease.
"When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all approach," cautioned Stephen Freedland, co-author on the study. "However, we are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if less intense, is better than no exercise at all."
These findings may not come as a surprise, because, like sleep, exercise give us energy — and we certainly need energy to, you know, do the deed. But maybe it will serve as a reminder to get some physical action in from time to time if you want to get some, well, action.