United Kingdom

Four hours exercise a week boosts women's sex lives, study says

Four hours of exercise a week can work wonders for a woman's sex life, research shows.

Scientists found it boosted arousal and increased the chances of orgasm.

But exercising at higher levels – six hours or more a week – had the opposite effect, reducing sexual satisfaction.

Regular physical activity is known to reduce the risk of erection problems in men, so Italian researchers wanted to see if there were similar effects in women.

A team at the University of Florence recruited 322 women mostly in their mid-forties for the study.

A team at the University of Florence recruited 322 women mostly in their mid-forties for the study (file photo)

They were asked about their sex drive and had ultrasound scans to measure blood flow to the clitoris.

The women were also asked to supply information on how often they exercised and how intensely.

Those doing more than six hours a week had worse sex lives, complaining of lack of interest, low arousal and failure to orgasm.

Regular physical activity is known to reduce the risk of erection problems in men, so Italian researchers wanted to see if there were similar effects in women (file photo)

Those averaging four to six hours weekly – or 35 to 50 minutes a day – had the best chance of being sexually fulfilled.

Scientists said being sedentary was likely to trigger weight gain, sapping women's self-confidence and damaging their love lives.

Women who exercised too much were more likely to have underlying body image issues or psychological problems sapping enthusiasm for sex, the researchers added.

More than one in five women in Britain suffer low sex drive, studies have shown.

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