Sexercise! : Lost Weight with Sex

As anyone who's ever failed to make it past the first month's attendance on an annual gym membership knows, actually fitting a regular workout into your daily routine is easier said than done. But there is one form of exercise that, done right, you're guaranteed to want to make time for. That's right, ladies, sex isn't only about pleasure; with a little energy and imagination it can provide a great workout too.

The naked truth

A good session in the sack burns approximately 150 calories for every 30 minutes you indulge – better than a yoga class (at approximately 115 calories) and the equivalent to a brisk half-hour walk. And it's not just the nitty-gritty of sex itself – snogging alone burns between 60-90 calories in the same timeframe (depending on just how 'French' your kissing gets), while a vigorous half hour of oral sex can add another 120 calories to your sexercise total. Indeed, according to the Kinsey Institute the average human loses nearly five pounds a year through having sex (while for those of you bemoaning the fact that you ain't getting any, an energetic masturbation session can reap similar rewards). And the benefits aren't just calorific: sexual activity increases the flow of blood to your organs, flooding them – and the surrounding muscles and cells – with fresh oxygen and hormones and encouraging the removal of waste products as the blood is replaced. The rush of endorphins released by sexual pleasure has been found to help relieve stress, alleviate minor pain and boost the immune system. It's even claimed that sex can help lower your cholesterol levels. You might never need to visit the doctor again!

Positioning

To get the most of out of a session, however, you need to do a little bit more than lie back and think of the homeland – heavy breathing alone does not an effective workout make.
A full 22 per cent of couples admit to only ever having sex in the missionary position, but for maximum workout potential, creativity's the name of the game. First and foremost, get active – regularly changing sex positions keeps you moving, which equals more calories burned. As a rule of thumb, any position that puts you in equal or greater control of the session – and therefore in control of the energy you're expending – is good.

Toning up

To target specific areas of the body, think about what a position involves. Being on top is pretty obviously going to get those thighs working. But to really go for the burn, take your weight into your feet rather than just your knees and use the muscles in your thighs and bum to control your thrusts, leaning back onto your hands to work the upper arms as well. The idea is to use as much of your body as possible: arch your back and work those hips – anything to get those calories burning while toning up specific body parts.
It's a win-win situation: as you become fitter and more agile you can get even more creative. Before you know it you'll be balancing on one toe, legs akimbo, arms swinging recklessly on a chandelier. OK, so maybe that's a little too Samantha Jones for most of us, but the point is to get involved and, most of all, to enjoy it. Your body (and your ever-grateful partner) will thank you for it.

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