Can Too Much High Intensity Exercise Lower Your Sex Drive?

by Brandon Topp

Too much exercise can ultimately damage your body, but new studies say that even your love life may be in danger from high intensity workouts. According to a new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, men with high-intensity workout regimens have lower sex drives.

On Z Living’s original show Altar’d, couples work to get in shape for their weddings, with the ultimate goal of building healthier relationships. Their stories prove how strong physical health is paramount to successful relationships, but the study’s findings show how going too far in the gym can be counterproductive. Check out more about the new show here. 

So, if intense workouts can lower the frequency or quality sex, how do you find the right balance? Here are five ways to balance your workout routine and your sex drive: 

1. Swap In A Yoga Class In Place Of A High-Intensity Workout.

If your workout routine is too intense, trade an occasional hour in the weight room for a yoga class. A challenging practice that has its own range of difficult and intense exercises, yoga also focuses on breath, stretching, and relaxation—three things the can counteract the stress and exhaustion of a high-intensity workout routine. Take this step to the next level, and check out which yoga positions lead to better sex

Also on Z Living: Women Don’t Want More Sex—They Want Better Sex

2. Go For A Brisk Walk In Place Of Daily Cardio.

High-intensity workouts can easily be simplified, especially in the case of cardio. For men who are running too much, just cut out some distance and spend more time walking. Defined by its slow pace, walking still improves your health. This breakdown from the Mayo Clinic states that regular, brisk walking can help prevent heart disease, improve balance and coordination, and improve your mood. 

Also on Z Living: 5 Key Tips For Successful Workouts From Altar’d Host Chris Marhefka

3. Work Out At Home Rather Than The Gym.

While we are major proponents of the gym, it might have a bit too much to offer for men who workout too much. Rather than tempting yourself with all the free-weights and space at your local fitness center, get your exercise done in smaller segments at home. 

4. Take A Vacation From Your Workout.

This tip comes from Irwin Goldstein, MD, who is editor in chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. He says in this piece, “People are overworked and stressed, and they translate their overworked, stressed lives to a lousy sex life.” This sentiment also speaks to those who workout too much, and a vacation is the perfect way to decompress and rethink that overly intense regimen. 

Also on Z Living: 5 Fast Fitness Facts About 'Altar'd' Host Erin Stutland

5. Make Time For A Nap.

You cannot over-exert yourself when you are sleeping, and research shows that not getting enough sleep can make sex significantly less satisfying. If you’re libido is already struggling to keep up with your workout routine, you don't want to make matters worse by adding fatigue to the list of things challenging it. Make things simple, and cut your next workout short for a nice, long nap. 

Catch Altar'd Tuesdays, only on Z Living. Find out where you can watch Altar'd.  

If you missed an episode, or don't yet get Z Living from your provider, watch it now by signing up for Z Living GO, where you can watch all the episodes plus live TV — you'll get a free 30-day trial.  

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