Gym Rats Beware: Intense Workout Could Result to Weaker Sex Drive
A new study from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill revealed that regular high-intensity workouts could negatively affect men's sexual drive.
The study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, showed that men who undergo intense workouts religiously have significantly lower libido than those who engage in light to moderate workouts.
For the study, the researchers developed an online survey that was based upon pre-existing validated questionnaires. A total of 1,077 people responded to the questionnaires. The researchers used these to assess sex lives, exercise habits and general health of each participant.
The questionnaire for their sex lives includes questions about their sexual activity, desire, attraction, fantasy, arousal, need for intimacy and more.
The researchers then grouped the participants in two different ways. First, the participants were divided based on the duration and intensity of their workout. In the second grouping, the researchers categorized the participants based on their answers about their sex lives, creating three subgroups: relatively high, moderate and low libidos.
By comparing the exercise habits and sex lives of the participants, the researchers were able to find clear patterns. Men with moderate to light intensity or duration workouts were more likely to report moderate to high libidos. On the other hand, those who spend long periods of time doing strenuous exercise reported low libidos.
Because the study relied mostly on data given by the participants, the researchers cautioned that it does not show that exercise decreases libido, but rather, that the two are correlated.
"Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis is significantly associated with a decreased libido scores in men," the researchers concluded.
They added that in treating sexual disorders and infetility issues among male patients, clinicians should also consider the patient's workout regime as a factor.