Is sexercise a thing? Should you think of sex as exercise? It’s not unusual to sweat, feel tired, and hungry after a long, pleasurable sexual experience. Are the calories burned during sex significant enough to classify sex as a workout?
These are a few of the questions any sexually active person might ask. After all, we all know that we work out our bodies during sex. However, do we perform enough physical activity to consider sex for exercise? Read on to find out more about the relationship between sex and exercise.
Is Sex Considered Exercise?
Sex is not only a pleasurable activity but one that also entails physical activity- whether mild or intense. Elevated breathing, rapid heartbeats, increased blood pressure, sweating, and some cases muscle pulls, are consequences of sex and physical exercise.
However, how can we compare sex to exercise? To answer this question, researchers organized a study where they monitored the effect of sex on cardiovascular activity among both male
and female participants. There were 13 women in the study aged 51 (+ or – 7 years).
The study monitored the heart rates (HR) and systolic blood pressure (BP) of the participants on a treadmill and during sex at home. In the women’s results, the HR was 64%, and the
systolic BP was 75% of the average rates on the treadmill. In other words, physical activity on the treadmill was more
strenuous. However, sex does produce moderate physical stress.
So, is sex an exercise? Yes and No. Sex is a type of workout, but it cannot act as a replacement for other activities. During sex, your body works at an elevated rate, as would happen during exercise. However, sex doesn’t yield enough physiological stress to become your primary source of physical activity.
How Many Calories Does Sex Burn?
In a study dubbed the “Energy Expenditure During Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples”, researchers studied 21 heterosexual couples to determine the calories burned during sex in kilocalories (kCal). The study measured the ‘metabolic equivalent of task’ (METS) to compare energy expended during different activities. Participants wore smart bands that monitored activity on treadmills and during sexual activity at home.
The results show that men burned 101 kCal or 4.2 kCal per minute while women burned 69 kCal or 3.1 kCal per minute at an average of 5.8 METS during sex. On the other hand, men burned 276 kCal or 9.2 kCal per minute while women burned 213 kCal or 7.1 kCal per minute at 8.4 METs from a 30-minute treadmill exercise at moderate intensity. From the results, sex burns calories similar to those burned during moderate exercise.
Sex As Cardio
Cardio exercises, also known as cardiovascular exercises, are aerobic physical activities. During these exercises, your body maximizes the use of oxygen in the body. As you move large muscles, the heart rate increases. When you optimize cardio exercises, your body utilizes oxygen efficiently, burns more calories, and builds endurance.
While sitting, your heart rate can be anywhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Ideally, your target HR should be 50-70% of your maximum HR during moderate physical activity and 70-85% of your maximum HR for intense physical activity. The average heart rate during sex is 100-130 beats per minute, equivalent to walking, jogging, or taking a bike ride. As for the oxygen consumption, the average rate is 3.5 METS, equivalent to performing a foxtrot or raking leaves.
Therefore, does sex count as cardio? Yes- if you’re raising your cardiovascular levels. However, the intensity is not adequate to provide significant results. An average male may burn four more calories during sex than sitting, but that’s equivalent to them walking. This means that using sex as exercise may require more time.
You need to increase the amount of time you spend during the act to use sex as cardio exercise. You can also boost the results of sex by preparing for sex. For example, you can activate your pelvic floor muscles through kegels.
Sex As Strength Training
Strength training is an essential part of the overall exercise. It strengthens your muscles, improves calorie burning, and helps you manage your weight. You can do strength training with your body weight, resistance bands, free weights, and weight machines.
If you’re hoping to gain strength through sexercise, you must subject your muscles to resistance and weights during sex. In most cases, you may fail. What’s more, you need intense sessions longer than 20-30 minutes, with sufficient movement for the muscles you intend to strengthen.
What About Masturbation?
Are you planning to get off tonight? You’re going to relieve sexual tension and flood your body with feel-good hormones. However, your calorie burn won’t be as intense as during sex. Masturbation mainly involves lying, sitting, or standing in the same position, with arm and leg movement. You can also bounce in place, but this would require the assistance of tools such asdildos. If you are using vibrating sex toys, you can reduce your hand movement.
To enjoy any calorie burning, you have to keep your heart rate up for an extended period. This could mean arousing yourself to increase your heart rate but holding off the orgasm as long as you can.
The Relationship Between Sex and Working Out
One of the major reasons sex isn’t considered a workout is the period. You can have sex in as little as five minutes, which is barely sufficient for a warm-up. Therefore, to use sex as an exercise, you need to increase the duration. Kegels are a great way to activate pelvic floor muscles and boost endurance and orgasms.
There’s a catch 22- if you want to build your endurance in the bedroom, you need to exercise more. Your cardiovascular endurance and strength translate to sexual activity. Fortunately, you can use exercise to boost sex drive. Increasing your libido means you’ll have a desire for more sexual activity.
Best Workout Sex Positions
- Missionary: The missionary position strengthens the core and buttocks whether you’re thrusting or receiving the thrusts. If you’re on top, you need to engage your arms, core, and legs to stabilize yourself and thrust, and if you’re at the bottom, you need to prevent too much bounce back.
- Cowgirl: Riding your partner’s penis, strapped dildo, or using a supported dildo exercises your lower limbs. You engage your butt, legs, and pelvic muscles as you move up and down.
- Scissoring: You need core stabilization and leg muscle to coordinate movement as you scissor your partner.
- Arch: Use this position to lift your partner’s lower body off the mattress while their upper body lies on the bed. This position engages your arm muscles and the core, glutes, and thighs to thrust.
- Standing: This position requires superior strength because you need to support your partner’s entire body weight as you thrust.
Is Sex a Good Workout?
We can conclude that we can’t rely solely on sex to meet our move goals but it’s an important part of our regular fitness routine.