Does Sex ‘Count’ As A Workout?


Sexual intercourse is a beautiful thing. It’s a way of expressing your feelings to your partner. It’s both emotional and physical and can feel like a workout at times. But let’s get serious for a second; is sex a workout? Could it really be defined as an activity that you can add to your program?

If you speak to most personal trainers and do your research, you’ll probably find that the answer to whether or not sex is a workout would be a disappointing no. There is one study that sheds the light on this question.

For more information on the study, continue reading.

The study that was conducted consisted of 21 heterosexual couples that were from the Montreal region. The study showed that one session of sexual intercourse that lasted 25 minutes found that men burned an average of 101 calories, and women burned an average of 69.1 calories. Researchers compared this to the 30 minutes that each participant did on the treadmill.

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The treadmill exercise showed that men burned an average of 279 calories and women burned an average of 213 calories. This proves that sexual intercourse is not as grueling of an exercise as many people thought. There is another study that found that on average, men expend 3.5 calories per minute during sexual intercourse. This is equivalent to walking at a very moderate pace.

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According to statistics, the average sexual intercourse session lasts about 6 minutes. If you do the math, a man will only average just over 18 calories per session. Sara Silberstang, who is the founder of Mind Body Love, explains that sex wouldn’t be considered a workout in terms of cutting calories. But what she does mention is that the calories you burn during the act are better than zero.

is sex a workout

What sexual intercourse also does is have other health benefits. Research indicates that a sexual intercourse session that lasts at least 10 minutes can contribute to your cardiorespiratory health. It can also increase your body’s serotonin levels and improve your sleep.

is sex a workout

Other studies indicate that sexual intercourse can also relieve anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. When a man has an orgasm, their bodies release oxytocin, prolactin, and serotonin. All three of these hormones are associated with happier moods, lower stress, and relaxation.


As I explained earlier, one of the reasons why sexual intercourse is not considered a workout is because of how long the average session lasts. In order to consider it a workout, the average session would need to increase. The only way for the session to increase is if the man is able to increase his endurance.


One of the best ways to increase endurance is to activate the pelvic floor muscles. This is the deepest part of the core muscles. By learning how to properly activate these muscles, it will increase blood flow to the genitals. This will lead to longer orgasms and can even prevent premature ejaculation.


To properly activate the pelvic muscles in men, Kegel exercises are the way to go. They increase prostate health and also increase sexual endurance. The easiest way to do this is to contract for three seconds then release for three seconds. Do three sets of this and do it 5 to 10 times per set. At first, it might be difficult to contract. But after doing it for a week, you will be able to build up more reps. The more reps you can do, the more endurance you will have during sexual intercourse, says Silberstang.


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