“Nothing happens until something moves.” -Albert Einstein
If there were a pill that could increase your sex drive, amplify confidence, give buoyancy to your spirit, help you metabolize the day-to-day nonsense, slow the aging process, burn fat, and boost your energy, would you take it? If such a thing existed, this would be the most popular pill to date. Only it does exist, just not in a pill!
Exercise is the pill, and movement is the medicine. If you can gain a healthy relationship with movement, your world is absolutely going to improve for the better. You move better, feel better, lift more things, open more jars, feel sexier in those jeans, appreciate your reflection more, and most of all, have the energy the whole world is seeking (and marketing companies are using to pull you into their product). Look no further. You have found where your energy has been hiding … in your favorite pair of fitness shoes.
Exercise Improves Your Libido
What is the topic that 50 percent of humans would like to improve, but even fewer talk about? Libido. What does fitness have to do with libido, you ask? Quite a bit, actually. Imagine if there were a pill that could increase sexual arousal by nearly 200 percent. Would it not be the hot topic of conversation flooding the headlines? Well, there is and it is affordable and accessible to everyone. Only, no one is talking about it because it isn’t exactly profitable. Exercise is the name and improved libido is the game.
For women, exercise increases genital blood flow and arousal and it has been estimated that just 20 minutes of exercise can increase sexual arousal by nearly 200 percent! That is not a typo. 200 percent, not 20! For men, exercising 30 minutes a day has shown to boost testosterone by nearly 20 percent. Men, looks like you don’t need to empty your wallet at your nearest T-clinic. All you need to do is move your body! Exercise also:
- Increases stamina
- Sharpens the mind
- Improves feel-good hormones
- Reduces stress hormones
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces cholesterol
- Improves sleep
- Improves circulation (which is crucial for sexual arousal, mind you)
- Improves overall strength
- Boosts immunity
- Improves body image
Just to name a few! In fact, regardless of a person’s age, gender, weight, or height, exercise has been shown to increase an individuals perceived level of attractiveness quickly.
In other words, regardless of how you felt about yourself before your workout, that likeness absolutely improves post-workout. You know it well. It’s that double take in the mirror right after that workout. No, your stomach didn’t magically flatten after your 30-minute workout session. But, your confidence sure amplified in strength.
So, it has been shown that roughly 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men have reported low libido, with even more cases going unreported. What does this have to do with medicinal movement? Everything. Exercising causes certain chemical reactions in the body. One particularly important chemical is dopamine. Dopamine, remember, helps suppress appetite as well as make your orgasms more powerful. Better orgasms lead to a better sexual experience for both you and your partner, helping to increase libido in the long run. So, exercise improves sex and sex improves health. This is a healthy snowball effect! Regular sex has been shown to lower blood pressure, which in-turn helps to reduce risk of heart-attack, stroke, erectile dysfunction and low libido.
Exercise Enhances Mood
Let’s talk about mood. Even in those suffering from major depression, medicinal movement (exercise) increases the chance of recovery by 22 percent, just by increased circulation of endorphins (or the feel-good hormones).[i] As mentioned above, exercise, not just sexercise, has shown to increase production of the brain cells associated with memory and learning. In fact, adults routinely perform better on memory tests after bouts of exercise. So, if your child comes home from school stressed about tomorrow’s exam, your spouse is in a funk, or your own emotions are running the show, what’s your next best move? Get moving!
Exercise and Aging
Let’s face it. Regardless of how you feel about Jane Fonda, for 85 years young, she has the posture of a teenager. (Young ones, if you don’t know this name, please don’t embarrass me and ask Mr. Google). What is her secret? Movement and stretching. As we age, we lose flexibility, gain stiffness in our joints and acquire a loss of elasticity in tendons, leading to decreased functional ability and mobility. What you do now is an investment in your future! Just 15 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to increase lifespan by an average of three years! Fifteen minutes a day can provide a return on investment of an additional 1,576,800 minutes into your future. One can do a lot with three extra years!
You will also roll into that “extra time” with years shaved off your appearance. So, by increasing flexibility and movement, you increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life (and look good doing it)!
How many people do you know who have lived well into old age but essentially die at a young age due to poor quality of life? Too many. Too sick to travel, babysit grandchildren, or even enjoy a leisurely walk outdoors. (Walking to the mailbox does not count.) Aging doesn’t have to translate into a disability. Take it from Fauja Singh. He is the oldest marathon runner in the world (26.2 miles for those of us who don’t know). The most amazing part? He didn’t take up running until he reached the grand age of 89! Fauja couldn’t walk until the age of 5 and was told that he never would. You know what he never did? Give up! He ran his first marathon at 90 and kept running another and another until he reached 101! Fauja became motivated to run the NYC marathon after the 9/11 hate attacks on Middle Easterners. He turned his strong emotions into positive actions to inspire others. Fun fact: Fauja ran his final competitive race 5 weeks before his 102nd birthday and ran 6.25 miles in 1 hour and 32 minutes. Some of us can’t even make a run through the grocery store in that timeframe!
Need more? Angela Vorobyova made a promise to her dying sister in 1935, who lived only 12 years and 4 days, that she would travel for the both of them. On October 29th, 2015, she reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with 86 years of life under her belt. Say what? While most people her age need a doctor’s evaluation to jump on a treadmill, she is climbing the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
If you aren’t impressed yet, try this on: roughly 30,000 people attempt to climb this mountain every year, and sadly, the mountain takes the lives of 10 brave souls each year. The day Angela reached Uhuru peak was the day of her sister’s birth. For those who may assume she had some type of special mountain climbing training, stand to be corrected! Angela said, “I’m usually walking by foot, pretty much, and there are no problems with blood pressure. I do exercises every morning and pour cold water over myself. I do not have some special training for climbing. I love the mountains. They have always attracted me. And I love Africa, its nature. It is tempting to climb to the highest peak of Africa.” (Said no one else, ever).
But the point is: find what excites you! Find what motivates you to move. This is where you will find your healing, daily cleansing of the bull, and excitement for the future.
What do these two incredible individuals have in common? A reason (or a why) that was so strong nothing could stop them. You may not be a Fauja Singh or an Angela Vorobyova, but you will be the very best version of you! That is far better than anything else, isn’t it?
Find an activity you don’t dread and commit to 20 minutes a day. Promise yourself to find no excuses. Notice I did not use the word “try” anywhere. Trying is an implication of failure. You will try nothing. You will do it. You have no other choice if you want to improve your quality of life and achieve your why. Movement is your greatest medicine and your secret potion. Are you already moving for 20 minutes or more? Commit to consistency. It is not what you do every once in a while; it is what you do every single day that will change your life.
As an OBGYN board certified in both obstetrics/gynecology and obesity medicine, Dr. Michelle Harden has worked with thousands of women in her 20+ years of private practice. She is an expert in female wellness and has dedicated her life to serving women of all ages. In her career, she has delivered too many babies to count and is helping women (and now men) birth new versions of themselves through her disease prevention clinic.
Michelle is a skilled specialist in high-risk obstetrics, female hormones, weight loss, disease prevention, and menopause. In addition, she has extensive knowledge and training in women’s overall healthcare with advanced certification in mind-body skills and lifestyle medicine. When she is not devoting time and passion to her clinic, she enjoys playing golf, spending time with her granddaughters, and all things outdoors!
Katy Clayton is a board-certified clinical nutritionist. She is passionate about utilizing food as medicine to treat and reverse chronic diseases. She has spent the last thirteen years training under the supervision of Dr. Michelle Harden. Katy received a bachelor’s of science from Texas A&M in Molecular and Experimental Nutrition, with a minor in psychology. In addition, she has received her master’s of science in integrative and functional nutrition and is a certified lifestyle educator. Together with Dr. Michelle Harden, their clinic has been recognized as a certified center of excellence in patient care. Katy is a mom to three beautiful mess-makers, wife to her main squeeze, and a fiercely dedicated devotee to healthy living.