If you’re looking for a new and enjoyable way to get fit, something that gets you hot, sweaty and your heart racing, then the answer could be in the bedroom rather than the gym.
Smooch your way to a slender shape with some sex-ercise. Yes really! It’s the perfect excuse for some extra time in the sack, or, if you fancy it, an afternoon siesta. But you’ll have to put some effort in; we’re not talking lie back and think of England, we mean a good old-fashioned romp with plenty of action, a degree of flexibility and some quality muscle toning. The key is in getting your heart pumping, so sessions should be aerobic and like any good workout, leave you feeling out of breath.
Studies have shown that 30 minutes of sex burns around 85 calories depending on weight and fitness levels, which soon adds up, particularly if you double up and have a few hour-long sessions a week. The intimacy and feel-good chemicals released by the brain during sex also help reduce food cravings, because you’re left feeling satisfied and less likely to reach for the biscuit tin. Plus, the challenge of trying new positions stretches and tones your muscles, leaving you lithe and supple!
In the mood
Feeling far from frisky? These moves should get you in the mood in no time:
1. Start by clenching and releasing sets of muscles while breathing deeply. Doing this changes the direction of your thoughts, placing the attention away from your mind and onto your body, making you more aware of how you feel. Remember to focus on your breathing. Taking longer, deeper breaths will make you feel more alert and in tune with your body, as you take in more oxygen.
2. Pole dancing can help you feel stronger, sexier, and more confident. But if the thought of cavorting in a room full of strangers fills you with fear, then try it at home, no pole required! Hold the back of a chair for support and shimmy up and down. Focus on your posture, standing straight and tall to begin with then sliding to the floor into a deep squat, while engaging core muscles, and tightening your perineum. Draw your tummy in and slowly rise back to a standing position.
3. Get some blood flowing to your pelvis by tilting it forwards and back in a rocking movement. You can do this standing up with your hands on your hips. As you thrust forwards, contract your abs then release as you rock backwards. You can alternate by swaying your hips from side to side. Do this for a few of minutes to loosen your muscles.
Get on the floor
For a good sex workout you need strong pelvic floor muscles, the ones that run from the front of your pubic bone to the base of your spine. Get yourself ready for action and in the zone, by practising the following Kegel exercises:
1. The classic Kegel exercise is about squeezing and releasing your pelvic floor muscles, and the great news is you can do it anywhere. Try incorporating it into your daily routine, by doing it at your desk, in the car, or on public transport. For example squeeze and release every time the tube or bus stops!
2. Invest in an exercise ball and spend a minute slowly bouncing up and down on it. Keep your back straight and focus on the rhythm. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles on every bounce. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat three more times. Bouncing on a trampoline has the same effect, as long as you remember to squeeze the muscles as you bounce.
3. Make a bridge by laying on the floor, knees bent. Raise your pelvis up and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, lift your left leg off the floor, place it down, then your right, taking it in turns as if you were marching.
Prefer something more exotic? Make like Shakira with some belly dancing! This Middle Eastern dance, which was originally used as a fertility rite, engages core muscles, while isolating and contracting body parts. The movements, which include wriggling your belly and making circular movements with your hips and torso, will also help to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and make you feel super sexy
Did you know?
Moaning, groaning or sighing can help you burn around an extra 20 calories. So feel the burn and go for it!
To maximise the calories you burn, get a little adventurous in the bedroom. Take inspiration from carefully choreographed sex scenes in films, or invest in a copy of the Karma Sutra. Not every position will be your cup of tea, but you’ll have fun trying! Check out our guide to the best fat busting positions:
The standing lift
It makes sense that if you stand, you’re going to be working harder. Because of height differences, you’ll probably have to stand on tip toes, or wear heels, which will tighten calf muscles and give your bum a lift. Take this to the next stage and wrap your legs around your partners waist while getting jiggy!
Place your hands on the floor, and let your partner lift your lower body up like a wheelbarrow. Draw your tummy muscles in, and let your arms support you as you move together. This position could help you burn around a 100 calories.
The push up
Just like a mini push up, your forearms and knees should rest on the floor, as you push up and back with your partner on top. The added weight will make your muscles work harder, giving you a superlean silhouette and lifting your chest.
Get a grip
Lie on your back, and let your partner kneel between your legs. Bring your legs up to grip your partner’s waist and cross them at the back. This position is great for toning thighs and your butt, as well as working your abs!