Sexual Health Matters
It’s a fact that relationships need constant input if they are to flourish and it would seem that the balance of mental and physical wellbeing may also need that certain X-factor to create a fulfilled union. Fortunately, there are some powerful secret weapons for maximising sexual health and revving up the libido in the quest for true compatibility.
Five Tips to Enhance a Healthy Sex Life
It Starts With a Hug
- Studies have shown that a 20-second hug is enough for the hypothalamus gland to release a hormone called oxytocin, known as the ‘loving feeling’ chemical. Oxytocin increases levels of the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine and this has to be good news for couples ― so keep hugging.
- If you want to boost your sex drive, nothing works better than revving up your circulation. Exercise improves blood flow, and blood flow is the fuel of arousal.
- Physical exercise releases endorphins which lift your mood, making you feel positive, energetic, and yes, more sexy
- Unless you’re in the first flush of youth, the sort of exercise you choose doesn’t have to be incredibly strenuous, in fact, low impact exercise is fine. The main thing is to keep doing it as part of your lifestyle
- Pelvic floor exercises are an easy but very effective way to improve sexual sensitivity
Yoga for Sexual Health and Fitness
- Recommended by therapists (and the writers of the Kamasutra), yoga is a superb form of physical and mental exercise. Those slow, fluid poses also increase libido, tone and strengthen muscles, create flexibility and calm the mind. Yoga also helps with metabolic syndrome and sexual dysfunction
Look After Your Heart
- Scientific studies suggest that a loving relationship, physical touch and sex, can result in lower blood pressure. They also confirm that having sex is good for your heart in terms of aerobic exercise.
The Right Food
Make sure you give yourself the best chance of a healthy sex life by eating vitamin-rich foods and avoiding those that will scupper your libido. For instance, iron deficiency will make you feel constantly exhausted.
- Lean meat, fish, pulses and beans are all good protein choices. Avoid processed meats
- Vegetables and fruit give a high boost of vitamins for sexual health. Try to include in your diet plenty of greens, such as kale, broccoli and spinach
- Watermelon contains the amino acid, L-citrulline ― very good for the blood vessels
meat fruit and vegetables for a healthy sexual life
Watch out for saturated fat. Clogged arteries will seriously hamper that vital flow of blood and that’s why erectile dysfunction is often a by-product of heart disease.
The Psychology of a Healthy Sexual Relationship
Many people have fears, inhibitions or even phobias when it comes to intimacy. Talking to one another honestly does much to help, but some issues are just too deep-seated, and professional help is needed.
Understanding the fine balance between the physical and mental aspects of a loving relationship can bring many rewards; it really is worth taking steps to address those hang-ups.
Men’s Sexual Health
Possibly the most common problem for men is erectile dysfunction but there is much that can be done to help with both pharmaceutical and natural herbal treatments.
Ancient civilisations may not have fully understood the chemistry, but they knew which of their native plants did the trick when it came to adding a bit of spice to their love life.
- L-argenine is an essential amino acid first sourced from the lupin plant but also present in various legumes. It works by causing blood vessels to enlarge for increased blood flow. Available as a supplement, L-argenine is also known to enhance energy levels.
- L-citrulline is an amino acid which converts to L-argenine inside the body. But unlike L-argenine alone, the combined effect works purely on restoring effective blood flow. L-citrulline is available as a supplement.
- Golden Root is a combination of carefully blended natural extracts which gives a powerful yet gentle boost sexual performance. Women can also benefit from the properties of Golden Root.
Premature and delayed ejaculation problems can stem from both physical and mental causes. Treatment is often with antidepressant drugs such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Women’s Sexual Health
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most prevalent problems for women. It is caused by sensitivity to the rising and falling levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which in turn interact with brain chemicals ― hence the dreaded mood swings. Findings of a US trial: Calcium supplementation is a simple and effective treatment in premenstrual syndrome, resulting in a major reduction in overall luteal phase symptoms.
Menopause brings many side effects such as night sweats, hot flushes, sleep disruption and depression.
Maca Root, (Peruvian ginseng), has proven in studies to bring significant relief from the symptoms of menopause. It can also restore zest to a flagging libido, balances hormones and boost energy.
Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life
Romantics can look away now, but scientists assure us that the good feelings associated with sex are pretty much all down to brain chemistry. To be precise, they are caused by dopamine and opioids, but studies have shown that regular sex has advantages reaching far beyond that rush of pleasure and the fuzzy afterglow.
Apart from emotional feelings of closeness and security, there are a number of physical bonuses brought to us courtesy of sex:
- Lower blood pressure
- Aerobic exercise for the heart
- A release of chemicals which reduces stress
- Aid to sound sleep
- Boosts immunoglobulin, which helps fight infection
- Increases analytical brain power
What is a Healthy Sexual Relationship?
Okay romantics, you can open your eyes again now. According to a US study, it’s not only an active sex life that makes couples feel happier and healthier, it is actually love too. The study concluded that emotional and social support boosts our sense of wellbeing.
So the whole thing is a bit of a balancing act. It would seem to get it right you do have to pay attention to the mind, body and soul.
If you have a sexual health problem and would like to get some professional advice and support, The charity Sexual Advice Association has a panel of highly qualified advisors, and their service is entirely confidential.
Have Your Say
What are your top tips for keeping that loving feeling alive?