Whether or not you’ve found your sexual sweet spot, most of us have given a thought or two to the quality of our sex life. Are you satisfied with your sexual performance? Do you find that your sex drive has changed over time? Have you recently had experiences with sexual dysfunction, like low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness?
Much like any other part of your overall well-being, sexual health is something that you can maintain as well as improve. Believe it or not, many of the recommendations by experts are things that you might already be doing to live a healthy lifestyle more broadly! We at ONE® want you to have the most fulfilling, healthy sex life. To that end, here are seven tips from the experts to achieve that goal.
1. Doing Regular Exercise
Yes, regular exercise can be an important part of your sexual health, too! There are a number of key benefits to consistent cardio exercise. Firstly, this doesn’t have to be anything intimidating or too intense – cardio can be as simple as a light jogging, bike riding, fast walking or even jumping jacks a few times a week.
Why is this important for your sexual health? That is a great question! Because cardio boosts your heart rate and helps maintain your cardiovascular (basically, heart and circulatory) health, it helps you stay in healthy shape to engage in regular sexual activity without fatigue or energy loss.
But wait there’s more! Coupled with a healthy diet, cardio exercise can also help with weight loss and positive body image – when you feel fit, you feel good. This sort of exercise can also produce endorphins, a type of hormone that can boost your mood and contribute to an overall feeling of positivity and contentedness.
2. Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Moving right along, sexual health has just as much to do with what you put into your body. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, following the advice of your doctor or health professional. Every individual body is different, but generally speaking, you want your diet to include fruits and vegetables which are full of antioxidants, boosting libido and sexual health.
If you are not finding the right nutritional balance in what you are eating, consider adding supplements and vitamins, like an over-the-counter multivitamin or any of the supplements at your local drug store.
3. Moderating Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Beyond the food you eat, you can also boost your sexual health by limiting your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine in smaller doses can be a great way to perk up your libido, but drinking significant amounts of caffeine can actually impact your sex life negatively. Fun fact: caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows the blood vessels and decreases blood flow, which is tied to a number of sexual functions.
In addition, drinking more alcohol than the recommended amount a day can impact overall mental health and well-being as well as your sexual health. Because alcohol is a depressant by nature, it can increase anxiety and other negative feelings, and is a factor in some forms of erectile dysfunction. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, and with less natural moisture, can limit the amount of seminal fluid or vaginal fluid produced by the body naturally. Moderation is the name of the game!
4. Lowering Nicotine Consumption
Nicotine products, like smoking cigarettes, are also vasoconstrictors. Because they can limit the blood flow through blood vessels, products like these can cause damage over time to arteries and veins, many of which flow to the genitals. By reducing smoking and the consumption of other nicotine products, you can improve your sexual health, as well as your overall health. There are lots of great resources online and over the phone, if you need support in quitting smoking, too.
5. Getting More Sleep
Nowadays, with all of the distractions and busy days, it can be hard to get a full night’s sleep. That being said, while your body is sleeping, it is a chance to reset, recharge and produce healthy hormones and enzymes.
Why does this matter for sexual health? Well, these hormones actually are tied to erectile dysfunction and other sexual response problems. And as many of us know, getting enough sleep can increase your mood and general feelings of well-being.
It’s hard to have a positive sexual experience when you’re cranky and tired! Make sure you are counting enough sheep to keep shagging! *wink*
6. Consulting an Expert
Sex therapists are a great resource for improving your sexual life, after all they are the experts! In a few conversations, they can impart a helpful sex tip or two and work with you to unlock deeper penetration into your sexual pleasure. It might be something as simple as integrating a new sex position or sex toy into your activity, but even if it serves as a brainstorming session, chances are that you will walk away feeling more empowered in your sexual health.
7. Practicing Safer Sex
And finally, to ensure that you have the best sexual health you possibly can, we recommend practicing safer sex. Depending on your sexual activities, this can range from incorporating dental dams and condoms into oral sex to proper hygienic practices with sex toys to regular, consistent use of condoms during vaginal or anal sex.
Regular testing on a 3-month and/or 6-month basis is also a great way to know you have a certified bill of health. By lowering the risk of transmitting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, you can boost your sexual confidence and stay sexually healthy.
So, there you have it, those are the seven ways we at ONE® recommend to maintain your sexual health! Of course, if you find ways that work for you, even better. As an important note, you and your doctor or medical professional should discuss any health concerns – we can only offer suggestions, not medical advice. They may also be able to help you work through any sexual dysfunction with medication or prescription products. Here’s to a happy, healthy and fulfilling sex life!
- Everyday Health - 7 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Sex Life
- Everlywell - Sexuality and Aging: Your Guide to Maintaining Sexual Health