Even though your sex life is private and exists behind the closed doors of your bedroom, it’s still significant. No matter how old you are, sex is still important for your physical health and mental well-being. A good session will make you feel like a man, improve your outlook on life, and keep your spirit young (not to mention all of the cardiovascular benefits of sex). Numerous studies have shown that people who continue having sex well into their golden years look seven years younger than their counterparts who are not as active in bed.
Yet, intimacy in old age comes with some pitfalls—sometimes there’s simply not enough energy to get the flame burning after a long day… not enough confidence to approach your partner… not enough potency to get through the session. These “not enoughs” may be quite discouraging and detrimental to your relationship, but do not fret. Simple lifestyle adjustments can improve your well-being and recharge your prowess. So, next time you’re thinking about sex but aren’t feeling 100 percent confident in your abilities, go for a run.
Cardiorespiratory endurance. Just like any physical activity, good bedroom performance requires an adequate level of cardio endurance. Also known as cardiovascular fitness, cardio endurance is the ability of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system to supply oxygen to your muscles for a prolonged period of time. If you notice that you have to take multiple breaks during sex to catch your breath, your cardio endurance needs an upgrade, and a good way to get yourself back in shape is by running. A classic cardio activity, running raises your heart rate and trains it to perform at a higher level. Regular running improves your endurance, which in turn benefits your bedroom performance, making you last longer. (Get back the strength to do the things you love doing.)
Erectile dysfunction. Contrary to popular belief, erectile dysfunction doesn’t always translate to impotence. Elderly men can experience the occasional erectile dysfunction, or simply a soft erection, which hurts their self-esteem and their sex drive. Many men avoid the topic of ED like a plague, but when you look at it as a health condition, you’ll be able to seek solutions to rectify the issue. To get a good erection, the penis must swell with blood. But if there’s a problem with circulation—such as high blood pressure or blocked arteries—healthy blood flow to the genitals is disrupted, resulting in substandard erections. With a whole slew of cardiovascular benefits, running is a good way to improve your blood flow and your erections. (Even though you may not know it, your heart is on the way down.)
Just a note of caution: With all these perks of running, you may feel inclined to start training for a marathon. Not so fast. Overtraining gives your body more stress than it is prepared to handle, resulting in exhaustion and diminished sex drive. Keep it moderate and don’t push it. Slow down whenever you feel you’re going too fast. Switch to walking whenever you need a break. A moderate 30-minute jog three to four times a week should be enough to keep you in shape and charge you up for some action between the sheets.