As Kelly Brook says 'training' and 'eating well' has made her 'feel sexier', how does exercise and diet affect your libido?

Kelly Brook. (Getty Images)
Kelly Brook's healthy lifestyle has built her confidence and sex drive. (Getty Images)

Kelly Brook has revealed how improving her fitness, eating more healthily and also getting older has boosted her sex life.

"Sex is better with age and, yes also when you are feeling healthier as you are feeling more confident in your body," the 43-year-old told The Sun.

"If I am training and I am eating well I definitely feel sexier.

"If you feel good then that definitely spills over to other areas in your life, for sure."

So, how exactly does becoming healthier by "training" and "eating well" really help to boost sex drive?go through social media. Her comments on their sex life post-marriage come in contrast to Robbie Williams who recently declared, "Everyone knows there is no sex after marriage" – he has been married to wife Ayda Field for around 12 years.

Read more: The dos and don'ts of sexting as Abbey Clancy says Peter Crouch's sex emojis turn her off

Kelly Brook and Jeremy Parisi attend the European Premiere of Cirque du Soleil's
Kelly Brook and Jeremy Parisi have been happily married for 10 months. (Getty Images)

"Yes, I am older and not as thin as I used to be but my life is 100% better and I am definitely 100% happier," Brook added.

"I don't think being thin makes you happy. Being healthy does."

So, how exactly does becoming healthier by "training" and "eating well" really help to boost sex-drive?

How does exercise affect libido?

Woman sitting on floor doing exercise/yoga/stretches
Exercise increases both sex drive and body confidence. (Getty Images)

"For men and women, exercise can increase testosterone and libido levels, resulting in a greater sex drive and more intense orgasms," says Dr. Hana Patel, general practitioner and GP expert witness.

As we get older we can get narrowing of the arteries, and for men, if this happens to the penis, it is one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction.

"Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight to try to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease can help, and may also help to relieve symptoms as well as improving your general health," adds Dr Patel.

Personal trainer Tim Harris of Goldster, a digital platform for healthy living and ageing, explains exactly what you can do to increase your fitness and how it will help your sex drive.

"Exercise in general, either HIIT, long endurance training or weightlifting, can help increase and level out different hormone levels in the body," he says.

"Cortisol hormones, commonly known as the stress hormone, can inhibit the usual level of sexual desire if there is an abundance of it in the body.

"By doing intense short periods of working out, we can help level out our cortisol hormone levels which will in turn help our bodies' testosterone maintain at healthy levels."

He reiterates that testosterone as a hormone is one of our biggest mood-makers when libido is involved.

Read more: Just six minutes of exercise per day can boost brain power in middle age, study finds

"Exercise also helps us with body confidence. So no matter what age we are, feeling confident about how we look in the mirror can hugely affect sex drive and desire," he adds.

"Getting older can often show physically in our bodies. The good news is, we’re never too old to start making a change.

"Resistance training in particular can play a huge part in making us feel physically stronger, able and most importantly, feeling confident in times of self-doubt. This is important no matter what age we are."

How does diet affect libido?

Healthy foods
'Focus on complex carbohydrates like quinoa and brown rice to give you better energy and a higher libido,' says our expert. (Getty Images)

Dr Patel recommends a balanced diet for maintaining libido, though you might want to incorporate specific food groups depending on your stage of life, for example if you're experiencing the menopause (which can reduce libido).

"As women get older, and reach the menopause, it is recommended to eat foods containing phytoestrogens, or plant oestrogens, that are natural chemicals found in food, which act in the body in a similar way to oestrogen but help keep our natural hormones in balance," she explains.

A drop in oestrogen during the menopause can make it harder to become aroused, hence why it's important to counteract this.

"These types of foods – including sunflower seeds, soya milk and soya flour, linseeds, tofu, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds – block the uptake of excess oestrogen and raise low levels when needed."

Looking at broader diet principles, regardless of age, Ashleigh Tosh, nutrition expert at Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood, says, "Typically a diet that's high in protein and complex carbohydrates can boost your energy and sex drive. Carbohydrates are our main source of energy but the wrong kind can have the opposite effect.

"Focus on good complex carbohydrates like quinoa and brown rice to give you better energy and higher libido."

'Bad' carbs may include options with high quantities of sugar that have been stripped of nutrients, like white bread. So, while diet can help boost sex drive, it can also hinder it.

Read more: The foods that boost – and zap – libido

Dr Patel also advises against, "foods high in unsaturated fats, not eating at least five-seven portions of fruit and veg a day, not drinking enough water and fluids throughout the day, and drinking more than the recommended amount of caffeine a day".

Tosh echoes this, explaining, "A fatty diet that includes greasy, fried foods can negatively affect libido due to the lack of energy it provides. The same thing happens with diets that contain a lot of added sugars.

"A diet that is also rich in dairy could affect libido as dairy products often contain added hormones which can confuse the natural hormones your body produces."

Does our sex drive change as we age?

Couple in bed
As we get older, our libido can change. (Getty Images)

Our libidio can alter with age, yes – getting better for some, and worse for others.

"Some of the hormonal changes of menopause may change the way women experience sex," says Dr Patel. "Also other reasons, not related to our hormones, such as fewer distractions, more time and privacy, and no worries about getting pregnant, may have a positive impact."

Tosh adds, "Generally speaking, libido for both men and women tends to peak in their 20s and as we age our sex drive naturally decreases." Aside from exercise, she advises it's important to consider other lifestyle factors too, like smoking and alcohol, which can also negatively impact libido.

Watch: Drew Barrymore: 'I still have no libido'