When we feel sexy, happy and full of energy, our sexual vitality is in abundance. But the stressors of daily life can play havoc with our emotional, physical and mental well-being, leading to a lacklustre libido.
Focus on these tips to see your sexual vitality soar to new heights.
Avoid Sugary Carbs and Processed Foods
According to a study, eating too much sugar shuts off a gene that helps to control oestrogen and testosterone levels, which has a major impact on your sex drive.
Another study found a link between arterial clogging and women struggling with arousal and orgasm. When the arteries are clogged, it’s harder for blood to flow to the pelvic area, making it harder to achieve orgasm. “It is not the saturated fat in our diets that is the problem it is a high-carb and high sugar diet that causes excess triglycerides and inflammation that leads to heart disease” and clogging of the arteries. Read our article on cholesterol.
A low sex drive can also be linked to thyroid problems. Avoiding foods containing wheat, gluten, processed oils, and sugars can go a long way to improving thyroid function. But, remember to consult your doctor before embarking on any dietary change.
Eating real food free from sugar, processed carbs and refined seed oils, as well as these foods could increase your sexual vitality in no time.
“It’s important to understand that dysfunctional stress in the body is the root cause of most, if not all, hormone imbalances, and one of the earliest signs can be lower sexual desire.” Says Dr. Sara Gottfried
Men and women generally deal with stress differently. Where men can use sex as a way to relieve stress, women tend to lose interest in sex. This difference in approach to intimacy can cause conflict in a relationship.
Stress causes the body to produce cortisol, which disrupts hormonal signaling in the hypothalamus, including reproductive function. Literally, the last thing on a woman’s mind when she is stressed is wanting to romp between the sheets.
"Lab research has shown that women experiencing stress, as evidenced by increased cortisol, have less response to erotic cues," said Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D., chief of the division of behavioral medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.
These simple ideas can help to reduce cortisol levels so that you can start to feel like a sexual goddess again: deep, focused breathing; being in nature; laughing more; being creative; yoga and other activities such as walking and dancing; listening to relaxing music.
Being tired has overtaken “headaches” as the most popular excuse for not having sex. Thus, lack of sleep can make you too tired to care about having sex.
According to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, “longer sleep duration was related to greater next-day sexual desire” and an extra hour of sleep lead to a 14% increase in sexual activity.
Dr. Robert D. Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, MO, says that continuous lack of sleep can lower levels of testosterone (the sex drive hormone). This can even occur if you get a consistent six hours of sleep per night. (The majority of us need a minimum of seven hours of uninterrupted shut eye).
So aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep each evening and get ready for frisky mornings.
Ways to improve sleep include: getting some gentle exercise; stopping caffeine intake after 2pm; relaxing before bedtime by having a hot bath/shower or reading; and avoiding all electronic devices before bed.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise increases endorphins, which make you feel happy and energetic and dopamine levels (an important neurotransmitter for sexual stamina and reproductive function) as well as blood flow, particularly to the organs involved in sex.
A study found that women with low libido due to taking anti-depressants saw an increase in sexual satisfaction by doing three 30-minute sessions a week of sweat-inducing exercise.
In another study, just 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise to increase heart rate had a massive impact on women’s sex drives.
Strength training is known to increase levels of growth hormone, which helps to ramp up testosterone levels for greater arousal.
Exercise can also improve your confidence and self-esteem by making you feel better about the way your body looks and feels.
It’s important to note that too much exercise can put strain on the body and have the reverse effect. There’s no need for excessive exercise – yoga, walking, strength training and short-burst interval training for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, two to three times a week, is enough to get your blood flowing and your libido going.
Focus on Emotional Intimacy in your Relationship
For women, unresolved conflicts can have an impact on a sexual relationship. It’s all about building an emotional bond, closeness, and trust. So when conflict arises, it’s important to deal with it as soon as possible and to communicate how you’re feeling to prevent resentment and distance in the relationship from happening.
One study found that couples who engage in new and exciting activities were more satisfied in their relationships.
Communication, laughter, and trying something new all play a role in growing the emotional intimacy in your relationship. One thing leads to another, and we’ll have two very satisfied individuals in no time.
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