When I stumbled to the top of the 14-passenger for the first time, I spent the descent daydreaming about the second kind of vehicle. (Yes, we are talking about sex here.
It seemed personal, but I wasn’t alone in losing interest in sex after a grueling trek. This is a fairly common phenomenon among outdoor enthusiasts who train long and hard. Studies show that too much or too little exercise can make sex unattractive.
Exercise adheres to the “Goldilocks principle,” explains Lyndsey Harper, MD, founder and CEO of Rosy, a sexual health wellness technology platform. It’s all about finding the right balance, like the well-known fairy tale.
Why Outdoor Activities Support Libido
According to Harper, exercise has different effects on libido. First and foremost, exercise supports blood circulation throughout the body, she says. Founder Stephanie Huck, M.D., says: The improved circulation that results from regular exercise is more likely to stabilize blood flow to your genitals, she explains.
To improve your mental health, you can turn to sports. But these hours on the bike or on the trail do more than just ease anxiety. They also increase your libido. For most people, stress is the ultimate libido killer, says Rachel Wright, psychotherapist and host of The Wright Conversations podcast. Prioritize survival activities such as sleep, food, and hydration. Exercise is a healthy outlet for stress, Protection from negative consequences of unwanted anxiety. But it goes beyond that and also contributes to your mental health and self-awareness.
“Regular exercise practice has been linked to improved self-image and self-confidence,” says Harper.His 2016 study published in Neuropsychiatric disorders and treatment found that physical activity was directly and positively related to participants’ self-esteem. It’s common to find interest in solo, partner, and multi-partner play increases when individuals find movement exercises that allow them to feel confident in themselves, Wright says.
In general, lack of physical activity is associated with decreased libido. It is a broad term that describes an individual’s interest in having sex, experiencing sexual intimacy, or achieving orgasm.One of his observational studies in 2018 published in Journal of Education and Health Promotion It was found that 43% of sedentary women and 31% of sedentary men experienced sexual dysfunction. Researchers defined this as loss of libido or libido, and erectile dysfunction.
How Too Much Outdoor Activity Can Suppress Your Libido
Incorporating trail walks, day hikes, or mountain bike loops into your routine will boost your libido, especially if you’ve walked the longest distance from couch to fridge during the week. Tightening your lacing a few times a week can increase your libido.
But with all due respect, outdoor athletes are known to be addicted to their sport of choice. increase. Spending more time doing what you love sounds great, but sometimes all your outdoor activities can hurt your performance in the bedroom.
“It’s definitely possible to have too much of a good thing, and that goes for exercise, including exercise outdoors,” says Harper. There are some mental, emotional and physical side effects. overdoingincreased pain, decreased performance, libido calmness, etc.
A 2017 study published in Medicine and Sports in Sports and Exercise, researchers associated regular high-intensity and long-term training with a “significant” reduction in libido in men. Nearly 60% of the human study participants exercised at least seven hours a week.Additionally, a 2009 study found that Journal of Endocrinology Male endurance athletes who trained long and hard had lower sperm counts and testosterone levels than those who did not. but, 2017 research It has been found that lower levels of estrogen in women can reduce libido.
“Intense exercise training can lead to lower sex hormone levels. hypogonadotropic hypogonadism‘ says Huck.of sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are modulators of libido. When they sink, she says, so does your libido. overtraining syndrome, says Harper. The condition affects the endocrine (hormonal) system, nervous system, immune response, and libido, she says.
However, low libido in serious outdoor athletes does not necessarily indicate a medical condition. “Sometimes all that physical activity just makes you tired,” says Huck. It is normal to do so.
How to Balance Your Desire for Outdoor Sports and Your Libido
To maximize your performance and enjoyment at the same time, consider these six recommendations for maximizing both physical fitness and libido. Because you can have a fulfilling training schedule and a sex life at the same time.
1. Be patient with your body
“It’s normal to have fluctuations in libido,” says Huck. If you are unsatisfied with your current state of libido, wait for this lull.
In addition to changes in activity, your relationship status, relationship happiness, alcohol and drug intake, and general health can also affect your libido, she says.
2. Think about your priorities
Balance isn’t the only thing you need when climbing mountains. It also helps maintain a healthy sex life. “As with everything in life, the key to personal success comes down to balancing priorities and prioritizing what’s important to you,” Harper says.
Ask yourself: What is most important to me? In some cases, you may need to spend less time and energy doing other things to boost your libido.
3. Recover as much as possible
According to Harper, not getting the right energy supply can lower your libido. Evolutionarily speaking, the body is programmed not to crave sex when it is in a calorie deficit. This is because they interpret a lack of incoming nutrients as a sign that they don’t have enough resources to sustain another individual, says Harper.
She recommends working with a sports nutritionist to make sure your diet supports your exercise and sexual health goals.
4. Keep a training journal
you may already have journal A place to record your latest workouts. However, if you also want to monitor libido, Harper recommends recording changes in libido on the same training log. , it helps us understand when and how to back up,” she says.
5. Communicate with your partner
If you’re serious about your outdoor hobby, your partner should know about you. You can chat with them about changes in libido in the same way you talk about training and racing, says Wright.
“After your sharing, encourage your partner to continue the conversation with you, asking if there is anything else they can do to help them feel cared for while sex is waning.” Invite me,” she says.
6. Talk to your healthcare provider
If your normal workout schedule hasn’t changed, but your libido has changed, it may be time to see your doctor. Certain medications such as antidepressants, testosterone blockers, and diuretics can contribute to loss of libido. underlying health.
Ultimately, health care providers can help determine if there are other medical reasons for low libido, says Huck.