Can Sex Replace Regular Exercise?

Given how physically exhausted one can become after having sex, it’s no surprise that some people feel like they just completed a workout.

Key takeaways:
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    Many consider sex a great way to exercise; however, studies show that regular exercise is much better than having sex.
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    Certain factors can affect sexual performance, such as age, weight, and intensity of sexual acts.
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    There are many pros to having sex, like an improved immune system, better sleep, and lower blood pressure.
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    When engaging in sex, it’s crucial to take preventive measures to protect yourself from STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

Many sexual acts can be physically demanding on a person’s body, ultimately causing fatigue once the deed is done. However, can sex actually be considered an exercise? Continue reading to determine whether or not having sex should be considered a physical activity.

What is sex?

Before exploring if sex is an exercise, it’s crucial to get a better understanding of what sex entails. Sex encompasses various sexual behaviors that can involve one person or multiple people.

There are several types of physical, sexual activity, like:

  • Masturbating.
  • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex.
  • Kissing.
  • Use sex toys.
  • Rubbing your body up against your partner(s).
  • Any form of intimate touching.

Some sexual activities can cause physical exertion, while others can have little to no effect on a person’s energy levels.

Can sex be considered a form of exercise?

Since some types of sex can involve a form of physical activity, many people consider it a physical activity. However, while having sex can be physically demanding, it shouldn’t replace a person’s regular workout routine.

Various research studies reveal that a person may burn around 20 calories during six minutes of sexual activity and 77 to 105 calories within 25 minutes. Most calories burned during sex happen once a person reaches an orgasm. Compared to regular physical activities, having sex doesn’t burn as many calories.

For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person weighing 154 pounds can lose approximately 185 calories from hiking or around 165 calories from dancing for 30 minutes.

In addition, certain factors affect play a role in how many calories can be burned during sex, which include:

  • Sex assigned at birth.
  • Age.
  • Weight.
  • Type of sexual activities.
  • Duration of sex.
  • If an orgasm occurs.
  • Sexual positions.
  • Overall fitness level.
  • The intensity of sexual activities.

So, while sex can burn calories, it isn’t a replacement for regular physical activity. Suppose you want to burn calories to maintain a healthy weight. In that case, it’s recommended that adults participate in 150 minutes of moderate-level aerobic exercise, 75 minutes of aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you must participate in a high amount of physical activity, lead a healthy diet, and lessen the number of calories you consume each day.

If you have any health conditions, please consult your healthcare provider before engaging in strenuous physical activity.

Benefits of having sex

Although having sex isn’t a great way to exercise, there are many perks of playing between the sheets by yourself or with others. Leading a healthy sex life can provide many benefits, including a more intimate connection with others and boosting your mood.

Having sex can provide the following benefits:

  • Boost your immune system. Want to avoid taking sick days this year? Having sex may do the trick. Regular sexual activity can produce antibodies that protect your immune system from viruses, germs, and harmful bacteria.
  • Improve bladder control. For women assigned a birth, sex can help strengthen their pelvic floor, which can help with preventing bladder incontinence. Bladder or urinary incontinence means someone accidentally releases urine while engaging in everyday activities.
  • Increase libido. Having sex can increase your libido, which can enhance your sexual desires. A high libido can lead to more satisfying sexual experiences.
  • Lower blood pressure. Many studies reveal that sex may be able to lower your blood pressure. For example, a 2019 study showed that older men with higher erectile function had lower systolic blood pressure.
  • Reduce risk of having a heart attack. A healthy sex life can improve your heart health. Aside from raising your heart rate, having sex can help maintain estrogen and testosterone levels. When estrogen or testosterone levels are low, it can increase the chances of having a heart attack.
  • Improve sleep. Some of the best sleep can occur after having sex. After having an orgasm, the body releases prolactin, which helps bring about feelings of relaxation. In addition, prolactin can encourage rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep.
  • Relieve stress. Who doesn’t feel cheerful after having sex? Sexual intimacy, like touching and kissing, can produce “feel-good” hormones in your body. Your brain may release hormones like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, or oxytocin that can improve your overall mood.

Any drawbacks of having sex?

With any activity you participate in, there can be some negatives associated with it. However, for sex, some downsides can occur.

A few examples of the drawbacks of having sex include the following:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • Exhaustion.
  • Pain in the vulva or penis.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Bruises or rug burns.
  • Loss of interest in the middle of sex.
  • Addiction.

Please consult a doctor if you’re experiencing discomfort during sex and get tested for STDs regularly.

Tips to enjoy safe sex

There are many ways to make sex safe for all parties involved. Having sex should be a fun, intimate experience, so taking the proper precautions to ensure everyone is safe is essential.

Here are some tips for having safe sex:

  • Use condoms. Using condoms can help protect you from STDs and unintended pregnancies. Condoms are available in grocery stores, pharmacies, and online in latex of polyurethane (if you’re allergic to latex).
  • Always ask for consent. It’s vital to ensure that your partner is comfortable. Be sure to ask for consent before engaging in any sexual activities.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink enough water to keep you hydrated while having sex, as it can help lessen exertion and possibly fainting incidences. For men, being hydrated can help improve sperm quality and increase lubrication.
  • Exercise. To improve your stamina during sex, you can adopt different exercises. For example, cardio, swimming, kegels, and other activities can help make sex more pleasurable.

Sexercise is not a great alternative to regular workouts. Having sex doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as doing exercises like hiking, biking, or running the treadmill. Despite sex not being capable of replacing regular exercise, it’s still a great activity that provides many benefits to your physical and mental health. To practice safe sex, you protect yourself from STDs and unwanted pregnancies and ensure that your partners consent to sexual activities. Aside from protective barriers, staying hydrated and exercising regularly can help make sex more pleasurable.

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