SOURCE: Journal of Sexual Medicine, news release, March 23, 2015
MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Up and at 'em, guys. Exercise might boost your sex life, a new study suggests.
Nearly 300 men provided information about their physical activity levels and their ability to have erections and orgasms, the quality and frequency of erections, and their overall sexual function.
Men who exercised the most -- as measured by what's known as metabolic equivalents (METS) -- had higher sexual function scores, regardless of race, according to the findings published in the March issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Specifically, better sex was reported by those who engaged in the equivalent of two hours of strenuous exercise, 3.5 hours of moderate exercise, or six hours of light exercise a week, the researchers said.
Men who exercised less had lower sexual function scores. Other factors associated with lower sexual function included diabetes, older age, past or current smoking, and heart disease, the investigators found.
"When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all approach," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Freedland, director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle in Los Angeles.
"However, we are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if less intense, is better than no exercise at all," Freedland said in a journal news release.
While previous studies have identified a link between exercise and erectile function, that research tended to focus on white men, the study authors said.
"This study is the first to link the benefits of exercise in relation to improved erectile and sexual function in a racially diverse group of patients," said study senior author Adriana Vidal, an investigator in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases offers tips for getting physically active.