A new study that looks at the relationship between men’s workouts and their sex lives has found that men who exercise strenuously could have a lower libido than those who go for a lighter workout routine.
According to the study:
Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis are significantly associated with a decreased libido scores in men. Clinicians who treat male patients for sexual disorders and, or counsel couples on infertility issues should consider the degree of endurance exercise training a man is performing as a potential complicating factor.
The New York Times reports that this study is unique in its focus on men instead of women:
Most past studies have centered on women. Typically, this research has found that when some female athletes, such as marathon runners, train intensely for many hours a week, they can develop menstrual dysfunctions. These problems seem caused by hormonal imbalances related to physical stress and frequently affect a woman’s interest in sex and her ability to conceive.
“Strenuous exercise was associated with lower libido,” Anthony Hackney, professor of exercise physiology and nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told the NY Times.
Hackney was specific in saying that the study doesn’t necessarily mean that too much exercise can actually lower libido — just that the study data showed a connection.
The study concludes that men worried about workouts affecting their sex life should try exercising a little less, to see if there is a change in the libido.
This would be particularly important for couples trying to have kids.
“Fertility specialists will often ask a woman about whether and how much she exercises,” he said. “Based on our data, we think they should also be asking the man.”