Want To Increase Your Libido? These Workouts Will Do The Trick
Ray Bass is the associate movement and wellness editor at mindbodygreen and a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. She holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Pennsylvania, with honors in nonfiction.
At the risk of sounding like a high school health teacher or uncomfortable pop song, let's talk about sex (and exercise!). We all know what it's like to have libido highs and lows, and while it's normal to go through phases where your sexual interest is less piqued than usual, it can also be frustrating—especially since sex can yield a lot of stress relief.
Assuming that you (who clicked on a fitness article) already work out anyway, we figured we'd ask the experts if there are any types of exercise that can increase your sex drive. We were looking for one answer, and instead we got a few.
Here are the best workouts for lighting up your libido:
1. High-intensity interval training (aka HIIT)
We haven't asked anyone, but we would bet that the term "15-minute HIIT workout” has reached an all-time high in Google searches this year, and for good reason. HIIT is the perfect balance between breaking a sweat and being efficient. You can reap the benefits of HIIT without much time at all. Five minutes, 12 minutes, 15 minutes—you name it.
According to Anna Cabeca, D.O., HIIT increases testosterone and growth hormones, both of which are essential for libido, arousal, and orgasm. So basically 15 minutes of moving your body can get you in the mood for sex. That's an investment we're willing to make.
2. Yoga and stretching
Once again, yoga's got us and our sex drives covered. Cabeca notes that yoga, which includes stretching and breathing within its practice, decreases cortisol and increases oxytocin, which leaves us feeling less stressed. When our cortisol levels are high, it can unbalance our hormones, or as Sara Gottfried, M.D., puts it, it can "rob our other sex hormones."
3. Pelvic floor and Kegel exercises
How often should I do these exercises?
In order to reap the libido-lifting benefits of these exercises, Cabeca recommends doing them anywhere from three to five times a week. She points out that results naturally vary depending on where you're starting—and may require you to switch up your routine if you're already a regular yogi or Kegel queen. But in general, the increase of endorphins we feel from exercising in these ways should move us closer to those we love and make us feel better about ourselves. And who doesn't want that, right?
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Ray Bass is the associate movement and wellness editor at mindbodygreen and a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. She holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Pennsylvania, with honors in nonfiction. A runner, yogi, boxer, and cycling devotee, Bass searches for the hardest workouts in New York (and the best ways to recover from them). She's debunked myths about protein, posture, and the plant-based diet, and has covered everything from the best yoga poses for chronic pain to the future of fitness, recovery, and America's obsession with the Whole30 diet.