Does Working Out Increase Sex Drive?

Fitness can influence in our health various ways, but does working out increase sex drive? Our comprehensive guide explores the link between fitness and libido.

Dr. Gary Bellman
By The Promescent Team Medically reviewed by Dr. Gary Bellman Last updated 02/13/2024
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Man working out increasing sex drive

Why does a jog or a gym session make us feel more sexually alive? It turns out, the link between breaking a sweat and sexual health is quite strong.

But understanding this connection is not just about knowing the physiology behind it. It’s also about embracing a lifestyle where each stride in the gym or on the track contributes to a more fulfilling sexual experience.

Quick FAQs

Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body and reduces anxiety, which helps boost overall sexual function.

Exercises that can boost libido include cardio, weight lifting, mindfulness exercises.

Along with exercising, avoid bad habits such as smoking and excessive drinking, which can negatively impact libido.

Here’s what to know about the science of exercise and sex drive, along with some tips for getting into an exercise routine.

The Science Behind Exercise and Enhanced Libido

Engaging in physical exercise is not just about staying fit or building muscle; it's intricately connected to our sexual well-being. Here are a few scientific reasons why exercise can lead to an enhanced libido.

Vasodilation and Angiogenesis: The 'Viagra' Effect of Exercise

Exercise induces a fascinating biological process in our bodies. When we exercise, our arteries experience vasodilation - a widening of the artery lumens. This effect is akin to what Viagra does but through a natural pathway. 

Simultaneously, our bodies also engage in angiogenesis - the creation of new blood vessels. These processes improve blood flow throughout the body, including the genitals, leading to better erections and heightened sexual arousal.

Research supports this, indicating that regular exercise can have a positive impact on overall sexual function.

Decreased Anxiety

Another critical aspect of exercise is its ability to reduce anxiety. High anxiety levels can be a contributing factor to reduced arousal. By decreasing it, exercise indirectly supports sexual health.

Studies have also found that men who engage in regular physical activity experience less premature ejaculation compared to those who don't exercise. PE is a known cause of decreased libido.

Tips for Incorporating Exercise for Enhanced Libido:

With research clearly showing exercise can positively impact libido, it’s important to start exercising more to improve it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Start with Moderate Aerobic Exercises: Brisk walking or jogging.
  • Include Anxiety-Reducing Workouts: Yoga and mindfulness exercises.
  • Practice regular and consistent exercise

In the realm of enhancing sexual health, not all exercises are created equal. Different types of physical activity contribute uniquely to our sexual vitality.

Aerobic Activities: Boosting Neurotransmitters and Blood Flow

Aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, is a powerhouse for sexual health. It boosts neurotransmitters like epinephrine, which not only increases heart rate but also enhances blood flow to all organs, including the genitals.

This increase in blood flow is crucial for sexual arousal and performance. Studies highlight that even 20 minutes of aerobic exercise can have significant effects on sexual desire and functioning.

The Role of Testosterone in Sexual Desire

High-intensity physical activities are linked to higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that plays a key role in sexual desire.

Both men and women benefit from this hormone surge, which can lead to an increased sex drive. This is especially true for exercises like weight lifting or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Recreational Activities and Their Influence on Libido

Engaging in recreational activities like hiking or kayaking also positively impacts sexual desire. These activities not only boost physical fitness but also improve mental well-being, thereby enhancing overall sexual health.

Understanding the Limits: When Exercise Diminishes Libido

While exercise generally boosts sexual health, it's essential to recognize that too much can have the opposite effect. Understanding the delicate balance between beneficial and excessive exercise will help with ensuring it has a positive impact.

The Intensity Threshold: Finding the Balance

Research has shown that consistent intense and prolonged exercise can lead to a decrease in libido. Overtraining doesn't just affect men; women can also experience sexual health issues due to excessive exercise. 

For women, overtraining may lead to menstrual dysfunction and decreased interest in sex. In men, it can lead to testosterone levels at the lower end of normal, affecting their sexual desire.

Exercise Hypogonadal Male Condition and Libido

Intense endurance training over extended periods can lead to a condition known as exercise hypogonadal male condition, characterized by suppressed testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels. This condition is particularly prevalent in chronic endurance athletes and has a direct impact on libido.

Tips to Avoid Diminished Libido Due to Overtraining:

  • Monitor exercise intensity and duration to avoid overtraining.
  • Incorporate rest days into your exercise regimen.
  • Listen to your body's signals.
  • Consult with healthcare professionals if you suspect hormonal imbalances.

Starting with Manageable Exercise Routines

Beginning with moderate exercise routines is essential. A brisk walk or a light jog can significantly improve blood flow, crucial for sexual arousal and performance.

Studies have shown that 160 minutes of regular physical activity per week can reduce erectile dysfunction in men.

Identifying the Right Type and Intensity of Exercise for You

It’s important to tailor the exercise type and intensity to individual preferences and fitness levels. Aerobic exercises like cycling or swimming are excellent for increasing heart rate and enhancing blood flow.

At the same time, yoga and pilates can help in reducing stress and anxiety, thereby indirectly benefiting sexual health.

Tips for Incorporating Exercise for Sexual Well-being:

  • Start with moderate aerobic exercises like walking or swimming.
  • Gradually increase intensity to include strength training for testosterone balance.
  • Include stress-reducing exercises like yoga or pilates.
  • Listen to your body and avoid overexertion.
  • Consistency is key – aim for regular, balanced workouts.
  • Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regime.

Incorporating these practical tips can help lead to a significant improvement in sexual well-being.


Exercise, particularly aerobic and moderate-intensity activities, plays an important role in boosting blood flow and neurotransmitter activity. As a result, there’s an increase sexual arousal and performance.

However, the balance is key, as overtraining can lead to the opposite effect, diminishing libido and sexual function. To ensure a positive impact on sexual health, it's essential to:

  • Balance the type and intensity of exercise.
  • Incorporate both aerobic and strength-training routines.
  • Avoid overtraining by listening to your body's signals.
  • Consult healthcare professionals for personalized exercise recommendations.

Regular exercise stands out as a powerful, natural enhancer of sexual health. This journey of intertwining physical fitness with sexual vitality is not just about achieving a goal but about embracing a lifestyle that enriches overall health and happiness.

Dr. Gary Bellman

Dr. Gary Bellman

Dr. Gary Bellman is a board certified urologist specializing in Men's Health. He is the owner and founder of the Southern California Urology Institute and has 30 years of experience taking care of men's health issues.


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