Who doesn’t love sex? Having a good old session between the sheets can be thrilling and definitely gets the blood pumping. And if you keep it going for longer, there is no doubt that things can get sweaty and breathless.
But does that mean that you are actually exercising while having sex, or are you just fueled by passion and maybe a little out of shape?
To answer the question, ‘does sex count as exercise’, we’ll look into a few things.
The definition of exercise
First up, to work out is sex exercise, we need to look at what counts as exercise. The most basic definition is: “physical or mental activity that you do to stay healthy or become stronger.” With this definition we have the activity itself nailed down, however, there is a stated intention.
So, by definition, unless you are having sex to “stay healthy or become stronger” you are technically not exercising.
We won’t leave the matter here, of course. Just because you change your intentions and activity doesn’t go from “not exercise” to exercise. There is obviously more to it than that…
Why it’s hard to say whether sex is exercise or not
First of all, sex requires at least two willing participants. More often than not, one of the people will be doing most of the work.
This can change by switching positions, however, it is very unlikely that you will be able to track your heart rate throughout the act, much less your burned calories.
There is also the problem of different intensities. When both of you are on your side, with either of you barely moving, you will likely not raise your heart rate very much. On the opposite end, a man might end up holding his lady and doing the deed standing up, which will obviously require more strength and energy.
And lastly, sex can last half a minute, half an hour, maybe even half a day. Based on the amount of time you are doing sexual acts, a lot of things can change, which makes it hard to say whether it counts as exercise or not.
There have been a couple of studies on the matter, but since the answer depends on what you are actually doing, it will be hard to give a definitive answer.
A different perspective
When people wonder whether sex counts as exercise or not, they are really thinking about one thing: does this do anything for my physique/physical health? They either want to lose a bit of weight or want to become stronger. It is this simple, it’s what things boil down to.
Technically speaking, if you are simply sitting down and watching TV, you are burning less calories compared to when you are having sex. This is because your heart rate is higher and your body is producing hormones, liquids and is just generally disrupted from your usual routine. So, yes, you could technically lose weight because of sex, as a man can burn about 5 calories a minute this way. However, if that is your goal you are better off just walking around for a bit, since your calories burned will be about the same.
When you’re holding yourself or the other person up, of course you will strengthen your arms a bit. However, as any gym-goer will know, if you are only doing this once every couple of days and only for a few minutes, it will not make too much of a difference.
It can be a really good motivator though, as you can strengthen your arms little by little even on your “off days” by using weights instead of your partner. If you are a lady and like to be on top, then this goes for you too, a few squats during the week will not only strengthen your thighs but will help with stamina too.
Staying healthy with sex
If we go back to the definition we used at the beginning, you will see that the matter of “keeping healthy” hasn’t been touched on. Since sex is known to have a myriad of health benefits, so even if the information above discourages you, you can still use sex for other things.
For example, sex can lower your blood pressure in the long run. It can relieve cramps, headaches and even joint pain.
Not to mention, having sex can have a very positive impact on your mental health as well. It can make you feel more desired and loved, which can affect your other relationships in your life, making you feel more fulfilled and satisfied overall.
If you do find yourself finding sex hard work, check out our guide to sexercise. Getting fit for sex does take some effort, especially if you want to go the distance and really impress your woman in bed.
So TL;DR: is sex exercise?
We think that yes, you can get a solid workout during a shagathon, plus there are numerous benefits to sex beyond physical exertion.