5 Secrets for a Healthy Sex Life

You probably give your healthy lifestyle credit for a lot of things. Weight control, lowered cholesterol and the ability to run a mile at a healthy clip (or finish a mile at all!) can all be attributed to eating right and working out consistently. But have you ever thought about how your sex life benefits from your day-to-day lifestyle choices?
You may not automatically link your dedication to the treadmill to your love life, but your healthy choices definitely play a role in the bedroom. So whether you’re perfectly satisfied or could stand to kick up the sexy just a notch, check out these five tips for a healthy sex life!
Live a healthy lifestyle!
The best item to bring to the bedroom? No, not sexy massage oils or candles (although those can be fun). Your best bet is to bring self-confidence! If you’re confident, you’ll be less likely to focus on your perceived flaws and more apt to focus on your partner and the moment at hand. If you find that your self-confidence is on a hiatus, exercise and nutritious foods can definitely give you a self-esteem surge!
Exercise and healthy eating will make you look better, sure. But they’ll also make you feel better, inside and out. Exercising regularly will give you more energy, more endurance and more strength. And, let’s be honest: all of those will help you in the bedroom. Eating the right foods will only benefit you and your partner. After all, who feels super sexy after downing a fatty, high-calorie meal? Look at food as fuel—and don’t overfill that tank!
Try a healthy aphrodisiac.
Can eating certain foods help your sex life? Some studies suggest that the psychological effects of certain foods are stronger than the actual physiological effects. But because the brain is actually a big part of sex, it sure doesn’t hurt if certain foods get you in the right frame of mind for a fun night with your partner! And if healthy foods make your body healthier all around, it makes sense that they’ll help you have a healthier sex life. So whether edible aphrodisiacs do anything physically or you just think they do, eating foods you deem sexy just might get you in the mood!
Luckily, many of the foods purported to be aphrodisiacs are also super healthy. Try some of these:
  • Chocolate. Ever wonder why it’s such a big seller on Valentine’s Day? When choosing chocolate, stick to the dark stuff, which is full of antioxidants and helps to lower blood pressure. Plus, chocolate’s serotonin-boosting effects may put you in a feel-good mood. Just remember not to eat the whole bar.
  • Asparagus. Asparagus is said to be an aphrodisiac because of its high content of vitamin E and potassium, which increase blood flow and play a role in sex hormone production, respectively.
  • Bananas. Whether it’s their shape, the energy boost they provide or the muscle-building benefits of the potassium, the banana makes many lists of sexy foods.
  • Oysters. Long-touted aphrodisiacs and libido boosters (thanks to their high zinc content), oysters are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Avocado. Whether or not it boosts sexual desire or function, this curvy, nutrient-dense fruit benefits the heart, immune system, skin and hair. And what’s sexier than a partner with glowing skin and hair?
Make it fun!
Just like you’ve chosen fitness endeavors that you actually enjoy rather than dread—  (we hope!) you should also make sex as fun as possible. You know how you change up your workouts to avoid that plateau? Change up your sex life to keep it interesting, too. If you and your partner’s routine has gotten stale, mix it up. Take a weekend getaway, or buy your partner something fun to wear. Use your imagination, but make it a point to get out of the same-old, same-old routine.
Plan if needed.
It happens: you get busy, stressed, and exhausted—and it’s all you can do to stay awake for even a moment after your head hits the pillow. But just like you wouldn’t let a week go by without working out, don’t let weeks go by without getting frisky with your partner! Sure, it doesn’t sound romantic, but if needed, plan a non-negotiable playdate. Just like starting a workout is the toughest part, sometimes it's hard to get into the groove of a regular sex life. Even if sex is the last thing on your mind, chances are you’ll be glad you kept the date!
Be safe and smart.
In this day and age, you can’t be too safe when it comes to your sexual health. Unless you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, make sure you use protection every time you have sex. Even if you’re safe, get tested periodically for sexually transmitted diseases; some of them are symptomless and it’s better to get treated than to be unaware of your status. If you’re a woman, be sure to hit up the gynecologist for your annual checkups, and men should be sure to see their doctors for physicals and if they notice any strange goings-ons—in their nether regions or anywhere else.
While you certainly don’t have to be in shape to have a fabulous sex life, a healthy lifestyle can definitely benefit your confidence, energy levels and give your love life a boost, too!

AARP. ''Do Aphrodisiacs Really Work?", accessed February 2012. www.aarp.org.
Alaskan Shellfish Growers Association. ''Be Good to Yourself—Eat Oysters!", accessed February 2012. www.alaskashellfish.com.

Avocado.org. ''Avocado Nutrients,'' accessed February 2012. www.avocado.org.
PETA. ''Vegan Aphrodisiacs,'' accessed February 2012. www.peta.org.

ScienceDaily. ''Serotonin Link To Impulsivity, Decision-Making, Confirmed,'' accessed February 2012. www.sciencedaily.com.
WebMD. ''Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate,'' accessed February 2012. www.webmd.com.