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Sex: fitness that's free and feels great

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What are you waiting for? Go get some free, feel-great exercise.

What are you waiting for? Go get some free, feel-great exercise. Photo: iStock

In my last column, one of you kind readers commented on my reference to sex: "Love your articles. But must you always need to add something about sex into the columns? Every. Single. Time."

This week, I won't mention sex, but instead devote the entire column to it. Why? Because sex is free, fun and feels good. And because sex - like water, vegetables, and exercise - is healthy. And let's not forget, we do need sex to reproduce.

Yup. It's time for sex with a few health and fitness thoughts ('cause this is a fitness blog), and 'cause a life with a little lovin' is a healthier and happier one.

1. Sex breeds a healthier mind

Our televisions are littered with weak, formulaic, CSI-type dramas full of murder and kidnapping. Entertaining? No. It's emotional trash. Yet the masses are neutral towards violence and prudish towards sex; maybe this should be a 'Stretching Tips Pre-Robbery' column instead. That's just wrong. It's just sex, and it's so healthy.

No, I don't envision TV shows replacing violence with sex. So what about turning off the idiot tube, performing 30 minutes of a home fitness circuit, 30 minutes of passionate sex with your loved one, then jumping in the shower together?

That's the cheesiest advice I might give this year, but one hour fewer of violence and mindless reality TV, and one hour more of getting jiggy and drenching your body with water, is mentally (and physically) life-changing.

2. Love well, sleep well

People underestimate the power of sleep. Resting your body and releasing stress during sleep is a cure for too many ailments to list. And nobody can argue an orgasm followed by a cuddle sends us snoring like champions. Guys, just don't (always) let the chicken come before the egg, eh?

Sleep specialist Dr Dev Banerjee of Woolcock Medical Research Institute points out: "We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. A bedroom environment with 45-inch televisions, smartphones and tablets isn't one that will help you sleep. Sex aids sleep, and so does a healthy environment that's intended for rest, not distractions from it.

“Sleep even affects your sex life. When I treat men with sleep problems and sleep apnoea, an early question is, 'How's your morning glory?' It's usually slack, because blood flow lessens when REM sleep is lacking; the sex life suffers.”

3. Get fit for sex

Does the 'escalator out' sign at the train station have you swearing at the prospect of hiking up 20 stairs? Read on, because your fitness might determine the quality of your sex sessions.

Ready yourself for action by running the stairs, skipping rope, rowing and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) running sessions. Bodyweight movements utilising Tabata training is the best non-penetrative practise to perfect those “I'm a bit tipsy and need a romp now” bedroom sessions.

Get involved with slow, sensual lovemaking - a bit more like Ridge and the crew on The Bold and The Beautiful. Ladies, get the squats, dead lifts, and lunges into your gym program. Guys, build upper body strength. It's yoga for all - breathe, stretch, and hold in that wind (on both gym mat and the mattress). Build core strength. While 'tightness' is good, it's not in your hip flexors, so stretch 'em.

4. Hug it out when it's not on

Sex isn't always available. Damn it. Relax, and come give me a hug.

The University of North Carolina studied the effects of holding hands and hugging, and 20-second, extended hugs caused more of a chemical called oxytocin that can lower stress, decrease depression and increase calmness.

I've done this for a friend, and I've needed it from a friend. You embrace, you breathe, you feel one another's heartbeats ... and you relax. Hold the hug. Stress goes down; feeling good goes up; no sex needed (even if it's still wanted).

Bust my chops in the comments if you'd like, because it might sound like I'm writing this wearing a leopard g-string, smoking a “j”, banging on my drum (no pun intended) and singing Kumbaya. But I'm just throwing my two cents in, because I'm vice-captain for the team that believes more sex and a lot less violence is healthy for Australia.

OK, I'm pushing my editor's word count. I'm off to practice what I preach.

Does sex play a part in your fitness regimen?

You can email me here or follow me on Twitter here.

15 comments

  • Interesting the article doesn't list sex as a way of getting "fit" in the traditional sense. Seem to recall some recent studies that found its a poor substitute for actual exercise (can be a lot more fun though)

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Oz
    Date and time
    May 28, 2014, 9:01AM
    • "free" - uhhmm how so?

      whilst there is no such thing as a free lunch - there is also no such thing as free sex

      Commenter
      Gaz
      Location
      Yarrawonga
      Date and time
      May 28, 2014, 9:22AM
      • It's this or swimming - both use all the body's muscles. However, unless you're an Apollo, or have access to a heated pool in winter, or don't mind driving to the beach, then finding a parking spot, then treading on something sharp on the way to the water's edge..... nah! stick with sex.

        Commenter
        Fred Bloggs
        Location
        Castlemaine
        Date and time
        May 28, 2014, 9:33AM
        • "30 minutes of passionate sex"

          Sex that lasts 30 minutes ain't exercise.

          Commenter
          Ben
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          May 28, 2014, 9:33AM
          • It's not just intercourse...

            Commenter
            RA22
            Date and time
            May 28, 2014, 10:55AM
        • Grabs popcorn and waits for Victorious Painter's pearls of wisdom.

          Commenter
          DanB
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          May 28, 2014, 11:02AM
          • Nooooooooo!!! :)

            Commenter
            scream name
            Date and time
            May 28, 2014, 12:29PM
        • How many kilojoules can you burn in 2 minutes?

          Commenter
          Tim
          Location
          Perth
          Date and time
          May 28, 2014, 11:05AM
          • What an irresponsible headline. Nothing is free. The price in this scenario is emotional. I work in Family Law and have seen the result of what may have been sex for fitness - which results in a child, which results in years of heart ache, expense and emotional turmoil, because two human beings did not take sex as it was meant to be taken, and realise once the kid comes along that they have nothing in common and aboslutely hate each other, with the kid caught in the crossfire. So be a bit responsible about it - if you want free exercise go for a jog.

            Commenter
            Country Carole
            Location
            Melbourne
            Date and time
            May 28, 2014, 11:19AM
            • @Country Carole

              Seriously lighten up!! This is a tongue on cheek (cheeky) article about turning off the TV and connecting with your partner. Not about trying to pick up a stranger to get the required amount of daily exercise. Also the kind of people you are referring to who are not together who engage in the type of sex that leads to a child deserve what they get!

              Commenter
              Jenny
              Location
              Hawthorn
              Date and time
              May 28, 2014, 11:51AM

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