Libido and Exercise
Author: Riley Pearce
Social Media Director
Personal Trainer – Byward Market
Love is in the air with Valentine’s day just around the corner. Red roses, galentine’s day memes, and another cheesy rom-com released just in time for this romantic holiday. What you do behind closed doors is up to you but there is one thing that shouldn’t be so hush-hush.
Libido, or your innate desire for intimacy, is a part of being a living creature on earth. It is what drives the most basic need to pro-create and populate the earth.
But did you know that you can actually control the strength of your libido? Yes – you can both weaken your libido and boost it.
For this special Valentine’s day blog, here are a few ways you could be lowering your love drug, and how you can increase its potency!
First, let’s better understand libido (a.k.a. Our sex drive)
Science says that libido is controlled by both hormonal and neurological factors. The hormones originating in the gonadal region are the usual reproductive hormones – estrogen and testosterone (primarily). Healthy levels of these will usually mean that you have a healthy sex drive.
As we age and these hormone levels begin to decrease, libido is left to the mind to keep at a high level. The arousal center in the old brain, our amygdala, can maintain a high sex drive even when our reproductive hormones hit their lowest points.
Feeling a little low?
Although modern medicine and food science are great developments, apparently putting foreign chemicals into our bodies can mess with our most basic needs.
Time Magazine did an entire article on the specific drugs that could be affecting your sex drive. Prescriptions like the birth control pill, antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft, antihistamines (allergy medicine), and painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet have all been shown to lower levels of your sex hormones, or block neurotransmitters in the brain associated with the amygdala.
For some of us, things like the birth control pill or antihistamines are essential for other areas of your health, but have no fear! There are a number of ways to naturally boost your libido.
Aphrodisiacs to the Rescue!
You may have heard of the term aphrodisiacs before. Derived from the greek goddess of love’s name, Aphrodite, an aphrodisiac is believed to be a natural libido booster. It either acts on the physical, hormonal, or neurological aspect of libido.
One of the most well-known aphrodisiacs is chocolate. Quality chocolate, that isn’t made with large amounts of sugar or milk, has been shown to increase sex drive by boosting the neurotransmitters associated with the arousal centers in the brain.
Some fruits have also been observed to be libido boosters like bananas, avocados, and figs. Although research has yet to prove the true power of these fruits up to this point.
Planning on having a glass of wine at dinner? Try sticking to just one glass. Too much alcohol is a depressant on the entire body. Although it may lower inhibitions making you feel more confident in the bedroom, your ability to perform could be affected.
There are also many herbs that people having been using for years to help with their sex drive. Gingko biloba has been observed to boost libido, as well as garlic! So turn things up with a little garlic, but just make sure to bring some gum so the garlic breath doesn’t become a turn off.
Meditation and stress relieving activities are also great aphrodisiacs. Stress in the body shuts everything down so that the body can fight or flee from the stress. This includes your reproductive hormones.
Try meditating or practicing other forms of stress management to ensure your body is ready to go when things start to heat up!
Last, but certainly not least, exercise. Exercise is once again one of the best things you can do to have your body working exactly how it was intended to.
Not only does exercise help maintain healthy levels of testosterone in the body, exercising also gives us confidence. That confidence shuts off the self-doubt and allows the arousal centers in our brain to work unhindered.
Better libido is just a workout, garlic-y avocado with a glass of wine away! Happy Valentine’s Day!