Men might think that by spending hours in the gym, honing their bodies until they resemble a buff Adonis, women – or other men – will throw themselves at them, powerless to resist the sexual attraction they feel.
But, it turns out, strenuous exercise could be doing your sex life more harm than good.
According to a new study, high-intensity workouts may actually lower a man’s libido. The research by the University of North Carolina assessed 1 100 men who considered themselves to be athletes. The men were divided up, firstly based on how much and how intensely they exercised; then, secondly, on whether their libidos were high or low.
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The patterns which emerged were extremely clear: the men who exercised moderately, or lightly, reported higher libidos than those whose workouts were longer and harder. They found that the men who exercised a lot reached a “tipping point”, where they were too tired or no longer interested in sex. Lead researcher Dr Anthony Hackney believes both physical fatigue and reduced testosterone levels likely play a role.
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Fertility experts are now considering changing the advice given to men who are trying to conceive with their partners. Previous research on women concluded that intense exercise can result in menstrual abnormalities, lower fertility and a diminished sex drive.
“Fertility specialists will often ask a woman about whether and how much she exercises,” said Hackney. “Based on our data, we think they should also be asking the man.”
– The Independent