Can Sex Be Exercise? Yes & Here Are 3 Ways To Make It Even More Of A Workout

OK, so we already have plenty of reasons to like sex. Whether it’s releasing feel-good hormones or helping you cope with period cramps, there’s a reason we affectionately refer to intercourse as afternoon delight. But in case you still need a little extra motivation to do the dirty, I’ve got one more benefit to tack onto that list: sex can be a great form of exercise.

Before you go tearing off your clothes, let me clarify. The health benefits of sex are different for men and women, and depending on what you're looking for from exercise, the fact is, sex as an exercise just doesn’t stack up next to more conventional workouts, like running.

However, working out in the bedroom is better than not working out in the bedroom, and if you want to skip the gym occasionally, you can certainly make up for some of that lost exercise with a good ol’ romp in bed. And it’s worth noting that the physical benefits you can glean from sex might vary wildly depending on factors like duration or position. Someone who likes to lie still through the whole session, for example, might not exert themselves at all while someone who likes to amp things up a bit could easily exceed sexpectations when it comes to working out.

If you want to hack your sex life to complement your fitness routine, here are a few ways you can maximize the benefits:

Take A Turn On Top

Ladies, it probably did not slip your notice that men tend to get more exercise than women when they get busy. One possible reason for this difference is that they often spend more time on top, which, let’s face it, naturally requires more movement and thrusting. You very well might prefer to leave that work to your partner, but you’ll get a more rewarding workout if you go for a spin on top sometimes.

All that movement can double as a cardio exercise, which of course improves heart health, increases your metabolism, and burns calories. The strain on your arms and legs will also help you work those muscle groups. Plus you might find that you like how it feels to be on top!

Break Out The Manual And Try Something New

If you have ever attempted just a few of Cosmo’s recommended sex positions, you know what a workout they can be. Of course, you can start with classics like cowgirl, but why not expand into new and unknown territory? Think about the workouts you include in your normal fitness routine — like squats — and integrate those into your sexcapades with positions that will help sculpt and stretch the same parts of your body. Although we all have a favorite position, it never hurts to change things up from time to time.

Feeling the burn is inevitable if you want to build your muscles. So you might as well feel the burn while you are also feeling other, more pleasurable things (*wink wink*).

Take Your Sweet Damn Time

A 20-minute walk will net you more fitness goals than a five-minute walk, and if you follow the same logic, 20 minutes between the sheets will also get you a better workout than five minutes. There ain’t nothing wrong with the odd quicky here and there, but if you want to build your endurance and break more of a sweat, you should definitely take your time. And, besides, we all know that a slow but steady buildup can maximize your pleasure — as well as your fitness.

You may not be ready to run a marathon after training in bed, though with practice you’ll increase your overall stamina in physical activities beyond just sex.

I wouldn’t recommend skipping the workout every day. You should still try to squeeze in more conventional exercise when you can. But if you can’t bring yourself to visit the gym, or if you want to assuage your guilt about forgoing your morning run, consider some good ol’ fashioned sexy time as a fun and healthy alternative.

Welcome to No Sweat: an exhausted girl's guide to squeezing in fitness. This content package is for the woman who wants to find an exercise routine that doesn't feel like a chore. No Sweat isn't changing the shape of your body; it's about feeling stronger, happier, and more energetic. Because working out doesn't mean you have to break a sweat.