Home ] Up ] Rita Vanes ] Current News ] Beginners ] Prize Winners ] Where We Meet ] Facilities ] Social Life ] Video ] Club Clothing ] Calendar Girls ] Links ] Personal Notices ] Shopping ] A Beginners Diary ] Sheena's Diary ] Raquels Progress ] Old News ] Press Releases ] 

Sex & Running

Rita Vanes
Current News
Prize Winners
Where We Meet
Social Life
Club Clothing
Calendar Girls
Personal Notices
A Beginners Diary
Sheena's Diary
Raquels Progress
Old News
Press Releases


horizontal rule


Sex and Running - The Perfect Couple
By Rob Spedding
  (Courtesy of Runners World)



Twenty-two-and-a-half minutes is an impressive amount of time to spend warming up before a bout of physical activity, so hats off to the British as, according to a recent survey, that’s how long we spend preparing for action. You're probably thinking a little light jogging, a few stretches, some strides… erm, how about a little nibble on the ear, maybe a tweak of a nipple. The report in question was the 2004 Durex Global Sex Survey and 221/2 minutes is the average time we, apparently, spend on foreplay.

As well as topping the foreplay league, British adults also performed rather well when it came to the amount of sex we enjoy. The Global Sex Survey found the average British adult has sex 119 times a year. The thing is, as a runner there's a very good chance that you're thinking "Is that all!" When RUNNER'S WORLD readers were asked, more than three quarters of you reported that running has enhanced your level of sexual activity, and experts agree: "There's no doubt running is good for your sex life," says Dr Petra Boynton, a sex psychologist and lecturer in health research at University College London. "One of the main reasons for this is that healthy people – and runners obviously fall into this category – generally have better sex lives than unhealthy folk as they're less likely to encounter sexual problems."

Boynton has carried out research where, as well as quizzing people about how often they're having sex and who with, she's looked at their medical history. "The worse people's health was, the more likely they were to either have sexual problems, or not have sex at all." Dr Patrick Milroy, RW Medical Advisor agrees: "Health problems linked to a lack of exercise, such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes can all contribute to sexual problems," he explains "and so can habits such as heavy smoking and drinking which, as a rule, runners tend to steer clear of."

It isn't just physical, either. "Running is great for your emotional health," says physiologist Ian Craig. "It puts you in a positive mood, lowers stress and can even help ward off depression, which will make you more inclined to feel sexy and be intimate with your partner." Milroy agrees: "The feel-good hormones endorphins are produced when you run," he says. "You always feel better about yourself after a run, and if you feel better about yourself then you're more likely to fancy sex."

Boynton even believes the act of running can make you a better lover. "As a runner you spend time on your own, developing an awareness of your body," she says. "You think about your breathing, the way that you're moving, and focus on your technique, how you're feeling and what feels good and what doesn't. Apply these principles in bed as well, and it'll improve your experience and your partner's experience." Still need convincing that runs and romps are perfect bedfellows? Then here are eight more reasons why running really will make you a better lover.


It'll help you have more sex

Forget placing an advert in a contact magazine, just going for a run will lead to more sex. We're not promising that every run will see you chased through the park by scantily clad members of the opposite sex or suggesting that running clubs are hotbeds of swinging, but being fit can result in more bedroom action. The evidence comes from Professor James White, an expert on fitness and sex at the University of California at San Diego who had 78 men follow a moderate aerobic regimen four times per week. After nine months, the men reported their rate of sexual intercourse had leaped an average of 30 per cent, with 26 per cent more orgasms. Californian scientists are obviously very interested in sex and exercise, as another study – this time an 18-year research project of 751 volunteers at the Center for Marital and Sexual Studies in Long Beach – found that regular exercisers reached orgasm easiest and most often.



It'll make you feel sexier

Even if you find that our first promise doesn't come true instantly, you're still going to be irresistible to someone. Okay, it's you, but that's a start. A study carried out earlier this year at the University of Arkansas found that people who worked out regularly felt more sexually attractive than their less-active peers.

Researcher Tina Penhollow interviewed 408 students and found that among those who exercised two to three times a week, 80 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women reckoned they were above average when it came to sexual desirability. Women will no doubt feel the fact that 100 per cent of the gents, but just 63 per cent of ladies who exercised six to seven times a week rated their sexual attractiveness as above average as further proof that men have rather high opinions of themselves. Mind you, among people whose fitness level was above average, 80 per cent of women rated their sexual performance better than most, compared with just 47 per cent of the men.



It'll make a man of you again

It's not just 10K times that start to droop as you age. According to 50,000 US medics who were questioned for the Health Professional Follow-up Study, men experience a sharp decline in their sexual functioning as they hit their 50s. The study revealed that 33 per cent of the men questioned had experienced erectile dysfunction in the previous three months. The good news, though, is running acts as a natural Viagra.

One study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that men who exercised "vigorously" several times a week, reduced their risk of erectile dysfunction by 30 per cent compared with couch potatoes. The same study found chaps with a Body Mass Index greater than 28.7 had a 30 per cent higher risk of flopping in bed than those with a more runner-esque BMI of less than 23.

Meanwhile, Dr Steven Lamm, an assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine and the author of The Hardness Factor: How to Achieve Your Best Health and Sexual Fitness at Any Age says that when you exercise, blood flow increases, blood rushes through your endothelial cells (the lining of the blood vessels) and stimulates them to make more nitric oxide, a key chemical involved in producing erections. "The healthier a man is, the more nitric oxide he produces, and the harder his erection is," says Lamm.


It'll make you feel like a natural woman

It's an old cliché, but little dampens the mood for a spot of loving more than a headache. For some women, though, a migraine is nothing compared to the passion-killing powers of pre-menstrual syndrome: depression, cramps, bloating and sore breasts just aren't sexy. If you do suffer from PMS, though, running could be just the thing to keep it at bay.

One study found that women who ran an average of just 12 miles a week for six months reported less breast tenderness, bloating, depression and stress. It's thought that the feel-good endorphins released during a run ease these symptoms. Running can also provide a welcome boost during the menopause, a time when women's sex drives tend to drop. One five-year study followed 27 women through the menopause and found the only factor that seemed to affect a woman's sexual satisfaction was exercise – the more they exercised during the study, the greater their sexual satisfaction.

Even if you don't suffer PMS or the menopause is a long way off or in the past, running will boost your libido: a RUNNER'S WORLD poll found that 83 per cent of women questioned felt jogging had given their sex life a boost.


It'll make you feel young again

Many of us run because we hope it'll ward off the ravages of time. There's little evidence a 30-mile week will fight baldness or grey hair – just check out the RW office – but exercise can keep your sex life young. Scientists at Harvard University studied 160 male and female swimmers in their 40s and 60s and found a positive relationship between regular exercise and sexuality in terms of the frequency and enjoyment of intercourse.

"The swimmers in their 60s reported sex lives comparable to people in the general population in their 40s," reported anthropologist Phillip Whitten. "The swimmers in their 40s had sex lives more like those of people in their 20s and 30s." In a study at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, men aged 55 to 65 who ran more than 40 miles a week had higher levels of testosterone and growth hormone than sedentary men, indicating runners had healthier sex drives.


It'll help you pace yourself

Heavy breathing, lots of sweat, a final desperate surge to the finish… Racing and love-making can be pretty similar, and if you ever find yourself coming to a climax too quickly, then applying race technique between the sheets really could help. "If you're aiming for a five-hour marathon, but arrive at the first mile and find yourself going too fast, you know what to do – slow down, find the right rhythm and get yourself back on track," says Dr Petra Boynton. "When you're having sex, the opposite is more likely: you'll realise that you're going too fast and simply break into a sprint." Instead, says Boynton, do what you'd do in a race. Stopping and stretching isn't a good idea, but taking stock, pacing yourself and, most of all, relaxing can make embarrassing finishes a thing of the past


It'll turn you on

Ronhill Tracksters and a rain-jacket don't rank alongside stockings and suspenders or a fireman's uniform in any list of turn-ons. However, you might want to rip 'em off after a speed session as the very act of running most definitely is. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found athletes who exercised at 70 per cent of their VO2 max experienced a 40 per cent increase in free-testosterone, a 38 per cent increase in cortisol, and an increase in epinephrine.

These higher hormone levels all contribute to a heightened sexual arousal. Scientists at Chicago State University found almost one in four of the women they questioned had experienced sexual arousal, or even orgasm, while exercising. There's more: 35 women aged between 18 and 34 were shown a short travel film, then an X-rated film on two occasions. The first time the ladies cycled vigorously for 20 minutes, the second time they did not. After measuring the subjects' sexual response, using a device that measures blood flow in genital tissue, researchers found that after exercising the vaginal responses were 169 per cent greater.


It'll even help you set personal bests

Forget the oft-repeated line that you should abstain from sex before a race. Lovemaking before a big event is extremely unlikely to have a negative effect. Ian Shrier, a researcher at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology in Montreal, Canada reviewed all the scientific studies addressing the physiological effects of pre-competition sex and concluded that it "doesn't affect aerobic capacity, strength, balance, reaction time or any other factors that may influence athletic performance the next day".

This isn't really that surprising as intercourse between married partners only burns 25-50 calories – the equivalent of climbing two flights of stairs – so you're unlikely to be too tired for the next day's marathon. In fact, sex before a 26.2-miler could lead to a PB. "I've heard lots of stories of women who say they've actually run better after having sex before a race," says Milroy. There might even be some evidence to back up his claim: a survey of 2,000 runners at the Flora London Marathon revealed that the runners who'd had sex the night before the race ran faster than the entrants who'd abstained.


horizontal rule



Home ] Up ] Rita Vanes ] Current News ] Beginners ] Prize Winners ] Where We Meet ] Facilities ] Social Life ] Video ] Club Clothing ] Calendar Girls ] Links ] Personal Notices ] Shopping ] A Beginners Diary ] Sheena's Diary ] Raquels Progress ] Old News ] Press Releases ]

For More Information Contact:

Dudley Ladies Running Club
c/o Wombourne Leisure Centre
Tel 01902 898202 or
Email: rita@dudleyladies.co.uk

Site Last modified: January 29, 2016