Studies have shown that a good tough workout primes a woman’s body for sex… for about fifteen minutes. Ladies, that means that if you want some great lovin’, you and your hubby should go jogging together and then hit the sack right away. While that makes scientific sense, the reality is that I don’t feel sexy when my face is red, my muscles hurt, and sweat is dripping from my elbows. Thankfully, I feel sexy later.
Exercise makes you feel sexy, regardless of how you look. People who exercise regularly—not necessarily daily, just regularly—view themselves and their bodies more positively than people who call pushing a grocery cart a ‘killer workout’. Exercise makes you feel thinner, even when the number on the scale hasn’t budged.
When I say exercise, I’m not talking about one workout (and when I say workout, I mean any kind of exercise: dancing, walking, swimming, etc. I don’t want you to picture sweat bands and spandex if that’s not what you enjoy.) If you’re just starting to get into exercise, then one workout can leave you feeling tired, sore, and discouraged by how limited your body is. But if you keep at it and make exercise a habit, you’ll see and feel improvements: you’re less sore, less tired at the end of the workout, and you can perform your workout better. These improvements are what improve your self image. I did it! I’m strong. I stuck with it. I am woman. Hear me roar!
You and your body make a positive connection when you exercise. You’re making positive changes together – positive memories, if you will. You feel like you like your body more because it’s working with you, working for you. It’s an asset, not an enemy. It’s a classic road trip buddy story staring your body and you. At first you can’t stand each other. Your body tunes the radio to Rock and you prefer Classical, you bring a GPS and your body prefers to ‘wing it’. Your series of workouts is like a cross country road trip. When you reach your goal, all of your battles with flat tires, broken GPS systems, sweat, soreness, and biker gangs have brought you together into a mutually beneficial partnership. You’re sharing a map and jamming to Classic Rock.
Habitual exercise helps you feel better in your own skin, but there’s another benefit for your love life: more enjoyable sex. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense that sex and exercise go together. Sex is exercise. When you exercise regularly, you experience increased energy and decreased stress. Fatigue and stress are two major intimacy inhibitors. Exercise also give you improved blood flow (the steam engine that makes the sex train go), flexibility and muscle control (no, I will not draw you a picture; do a few stretches and figure it out), and endurance (oo la la!). In other words, if you work out regularly, then sex is an enjoyable recital that your body has been practicing for, and not akin to being pushed on stage to sing karaoke.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)