Will HIIT help or hurt my love life?

Yoga, stretching, weight lifting, aerobics—they’re all forms of exercise, and they’re all good for you. Do they all give you the same boost in the bedroom?

Any form of exercise is good for you and may help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve body image, among other benefits. These are all compelling reasons to get moving or keep moving if you already have an established exercise routine. But, there is one form of exercise—strength and high intensity workouts (like High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT)—that may help spice things up in the bedroom.

Physically active women have greater sexual desire, increased arousal, and higher satisfaction.

Research (from health.com) shows that physically active women have a greater sexual desire, increased arousal and higher satisfaction than women who do not exercise. In addition, another study (also from health.com) among physically inactive men who began a strenuous workout routine reported “more frequent sexual activity, improved sexual function, and greater satisfaction. Those whose fitness levels increased most saw the biggest improvements in their sex lives.”

In addition, any exercise, especially strength training, can increase testosterone levels in both men and women. You may already know that, but did you know higher testosterone levels may increase your sex drive—and your partner’s as well? That could be a good reason to start doing some high intensity workouts with your partner. A win-win for both of you between the sheets!

High intensity and strength training workouts can also have other benefits that many women don’t think about: improved stamina and durability, and stronger orgasms. You and your partner will likely enjoy your sexual encounters more if you’re not gasping for breath or sweating profusely part-way through your sex date.

More research has shown that strength training had “the strongest relationship to overall satisfaction with quality of orgasm.” And many studies show a correlation between aerobic exercise and quality of orgasm.

If you’ve been thinking about increasing your activity level or looking for ways to heat things up with your partner, consider adding strength training and/or high intensity workouts to your routine. I think you will be pleased with the results—in more ways than one!