Thursday 20 February 2014


I was reading an interview the other day with a doctor discussing sex as a form of exercise (you awake now?) His theory, every single bit of movement we do throughout the day counts, be it walking upstairs, vacuuming, cleaning out the attic or yes, the most entertaining activity out there, sex (if it's not more entertaining than vacuuming, you're doing it wrong). In his mind, all this emphasis on people going to the gym and getting in shape is certainly all well and good (and obviously he advocates exercise in all forms and degrees), but from his research those people who are going to the gym for an hour a day and then sitting in front of their computers for hours in an office are actually leading a sedentary lifestyle and not getting much benefit from that single hour of movement. The goal, MOVE and move often.

The problem is, when it comes to sex as a form of exercise, unless you are channeling Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and having crazy marathon sex with your partner (with or without the ice pick), the average couple has sex for six minutes and burns 20 calories. How sobering is that statistic? According to the experts, the goal should of course be increasing the length one spends having sex and the acrobatics. (I kid, I kid). Listen, if you can indeed channel someone from the Cirque du soleil cast, go for it, just don’t pull your back out and rip the chandelier out of the ceiling to prove a point. Most experts will attest that if one has sex for at least 20 minutes, it can burn the same calories as a modest workout, burning up to 5 calories a minute (that still sounds utterly depressing). On the other good front, sex also releases a hormone that relaxes us, lowers stress and blood pressure, boosts our immune system and is good for our skin, to name a few positive attributes. You certainly can’t say that about the Stairmaster. Not to mention, it makes all involved feel better and will cut down on those looks your husband gives you when he’s reminiscing about your pre-children days when you and he were much more 'active'. 

I think for most people it’s not the lack of intention to 'exercise', it’s finding the time and energy, especially for high-ticket activities like sex (especially if one has a three year old who follows them around like a shadow hollering to play Lego and eat cheese). Moreover if one is moving all day, cooking, cleaning, working, running after kids, by the time you connect with the husband, you’re both bleary eyed and yearning for an episode of something mind-numbing and a double vodka. I suppose, like anything it’s finding and acting upon those unexpected windows to fit an activity in there (whatever the activity may be, a marathon comes in many forms), not to mention making those twenty minutes count to the best of your ability. So, whether or not you’re Sharon Stone, or you can blow that six-minute statistic out of the water, put your heart into it; god knows sex as a form of exercise is a lot more fun than twenty minutes on a stationary bike.

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