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Sexercise: an exciting alternative to the gym

Can you really get a decent work-out from sex?

Can you really get a decent work-out from sex? Photo: Getty

Sex should be considered a significant exercise for burning calories – that’s the happy conclusion reached in a study, published last year by researchers from the University of Quebec. We know that it’s not easy losing weight, and that a strict diet and an exercise regime are needed. So, for those of us who would rather stay home than work out at the gym, sex (or rather sexercise) may be a much more enticing alternative.

The study’s lead author, Julie Frappier, concluded that for both men and women sexual activity was reported to be highly enjoyable and more appreciated than a 30-minute exercise session on a treadmill. Frappier believes this study could help health professionals recognise that sexual activity is an important aspect of the overall health and quality of life of their patients.

Due to the sensitive nature of sexuality, however, it will probably take a while before GP’s start advising their patients to have more sex.

Still, if you struggle to schedule a fitness routine in your daily life, a workout under the sheets maybe a very good idea – you could even think of it as healthy multitasking.  “Sexercise” has many health benefits; it releases feel good hormones and endorphins that lower stress levels, it improves overall mood and it fights off depression. It also improves the immune system and contributes to better health overall.

An important point is to make sure you are an active participant, by alternating sex positions so that each partner gets an even workout. There is a terrific app on the market called “Sexercise – sex positions that burn calories”, which has illustrated versions of more than 70 sex positions that can help you lose weight.

The positions are divided into several categories; some are designed to help the male lose weight and some are aimed at weight-loss for the female partner. Each sex position is meant to target a specific part of your body. Just don’t take it too seriously; sex should still be fun.

In another interesting study, which was conducted by Indiana University scientists, it was found that a number of women who work out at the gym sometimes experience sexual pleasure. Well-known sexuality teacher Debby Herbenick said that some exercises were more likely than others to trigger a sexual response.

The most common types are abdominal exercises, weightlifting, yoga, cycling, climbing poles or ropes, or sitting on exercise balls.

”This data is interesting because it suggests that an orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event and they may also teach us more about the bodily processes underlying women’s experiences of an orgasm,” Herbenick said.

The majority of women in her study stated that they weren’t having any sexual thoughts during their workouts.

How does this response happen? Well, a well-toned pelvic floor with strong muscles will contract more intensely. Some exercises create an increase in pelvic vascularity which means more blood flow in the pelvic area that can lead to clitoral and vaginal sensations, possibly resulting in orgasm.

The endorphin rush often experienced at the gym can also add to feelings of euphoria and pleasure.

Exercise-induced orgasm (EIO) is not a new phenomenon. For the past decade, fitness enthusiasts have mentioned experiencing it, and it is often referred to as a "coregasm". But women were shy about coming forward to admit to the pleasurable experience and others were often not quite sure what they were feeling.

Several magazine articles were written after it first was believed to be an urban myth, which was one of the reasons Herbenick decided to conduct the study.

I contacted several female gym owners and asked their opinion, but only one of them had heard of it. One personal trainer got very excited and wondered if she should look into it and maybe start a special “coregasm class”.

Seriously though, have any of you gym enthusiasts ever experienced this unexpected side effect?

I’d love to hear your responses.

115 comments so far

  • How about a photo of a normal couple, ie without the perfect white teeth, perfect bodies AND perfect sex lives ?

    Commenter
    Richard
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 19, 2014, 4:27AM
    • You're kidding, right? You are complaining about the stock photo used when you should be complaining about errant apostrophes?

      "...it will probably take a while before GP’s start advising their patients to have more sex."

      Commenter
      Public Joe
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 6:32AM
    • I know what you mean, I was thinking if those two were the instructors then you can sign me up today!

      Commenter
      BiCurious
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 6:43AM
    • I don't think it's an errant apostrophe. I think it's being used in an abbreviation of "general practitioners".

      Commenter
      Acon
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 6:58AM
    • Apostrophe Man commends you @Public Joe!

      Do not use an apostrophe for the plural of a normal abbreviation.

      GP is the normal abbreviation of General Practitioner; therefore 'GPs' would be appropriate in the usage to which you refer.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I need to perform my daily exercise routine with Apostrophe Woman.

      Up, up and away!

      Commenter
      Apostrophe Man
      Location
      Grammar Land
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 7:35AM
    • Looks normal to me? When did overweight people with bad teeth who don't have sex become "normal"?

      Commenter
      Daniel
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 8:00AM
    • +1 Richard!

      Commenter
      Cam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 9:10AM
    • And who would click on that story?

      Commenter
      Dave
      Location
      Online
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 9:27AM
    • Nah I'm good with them running hot models in the photos.

      Commenter
      F
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 10:09AM
    • @Dave: if they used more realistic photos then the article wouldn't attract the type of people who leave the predictable, cringe-worthy, teenage boy comments you see on this forum.

      Commenter
      Cam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 19, 2014, 11:50AM

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