Many people exercise to help boost their sex lives. But a new study suggests aerobic fitness can also improve your mental health, too.
For study subjects, aerobic fitness was linked to their stress response. And that, according to the researchers, may help explain the correlation between sex drive and physical fitness. In a previous study, scientists found that men with greater aerobic fitness were much more likely than others to engage in sexual activity. But here, the researchers wanted to find out whether physical fitness was associated with psychological well-being.
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And they wanted to see how much the ability to tolerate stress was associated with fitness. The study, published in August in the Journal of Psychology, showed that aerobic fitness was linked to higher “distress tolerance” as assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). And that, as expected, was accompanied by higher ratings of “positive” and “negative” feelings. They then asked subjects to rate how good they felt about their sex lives, and which sexual activities were most or least pleasurable. The results showed that individuals with better aerobic fitness had higher scores on their sex life satisfaction, and that among their sexual experiences, aerobic fitness was linked to a higher sense of enjoyment of their orgasms. “It appears that aerobic fitness may be associated with psychological well-being, and that this relationship may be partly due to increased physical ability and mental well-being,” the researchers concluded.
“In other words, aerobic fitness may be the bridge linking the biological and social aspects of physical and mental health.” The study also examined how physical fitness might be linked to arousal, which is an important psychological variable when it comes to sexuality. The result showed that men with stronger muscles experienced better resistance to anything what is detrimental to your health.