January is (finally) coming to an end and no doubt those fitness goals we were so determined to stick to are starting to lose steam.
If this sounds somewhat familiar and you have fallen off the exercise treadmill, there is another, and arguably more fun, way to burn those calories - having sex.
When it comes to the most enjoyable form of working out, getting it on has to be a clear winner, but just how effective is the bedroom activity in helping us stay fit?
Many of us find that our sex life dwindles in the winter months, but when we do get intimate, is there any truth to the whispers that getting down is just as effective as heading to the gym?
Recent research from the Mayo Clinic indicates that burning 3,500 calories leads to the shedding of one pound of fat.
This suggests that the average man (weighing 198 pounds) would need approximately 6 hours and 23 minutes, while the average woman (weighing 170 pounds) would require 7 hours and 27 minutes to achieve this through sex.
And while it is obviously good news that you can get your fitness on while also being turned on, it seems to take considerably longer to burn off the day's culinary treats than you might imagine.
For ten minutes of fun time in the sack, the average woman burns 78 calories, while the average man burns 91 calories.
The average British couple has sex for 19 minutes per sex session, which would lead to a using up 156 calories for a woman and 182 for a man.
On the other end of the sexual scale, couples would need to participate in a full 120 minute encounter to burn 939 calories (women) and 1094 (men).
How to increase your sexual stamina during sex
Given that it takes between 6 – 7 hours to burn a pound of fat, many of us may need to boost our stamina in order to last longer. Thankfully there are some simple tips and tricks you can test out to up the length of your sessions and therefore burn more calories.
Embrace Kegel exercises, even if you’re a man
Dispel the myth that only women can benefit from Kegel exercises. "With their pelvic floor muscles, men can enhance their sex life through these exercises," a spokesperson from Condoms UK explains. "For women, Kegels improve sexual arousal, ease reaching orgasm, enhance vaginal lubrication, and relax the vagina for penetration. Men experience firmer erections as blood flow to the groin improves. A win-win for all involved."
Indulge in extended foreplay
Foreplay is not merely a prelude; it's a key component in enhancing sexual pleasure and duration. "The brain experiences heightened pleasure during prolonged anticipation, making foreplay essential for a fulfilling sexual experience," the spokesperson continues.
Explore the edging technique
Anticipate the reward by practising edging. "This technique involves nearing climax and then pausing, effectively delaying ejaculation and improving sexual endurance," the spokesperson explains. "Edging can be incorporated into both solo and partnered sexual activities.
Opt for thicker condoms
Thicker condoms can help desensitise the penis and delay ejaculation, aiding in lasting longer during sex. "This is a simple and effective method to help increase sexual endurance," the spokesperson explains.
Embrace regular masturbation
Regular masturbation contributes to building stamina, enabling individuals to last longer during sexual encounters. "Deliberately delaying orgasm during solo sessions can train the body to extend the duration," the spokesperson adds. "Consider incorporating mutual masturbation to explore and understand each other's preferences.
Master deep breathing techniques
Integrate deep, slow breathing into your sexual activities to reduce anxiety and extend the time to ejaculation. "Rhythmic breathing promotes relaxation, delaying the onset of orgasm and creating a more satisfying sexual experience," the spokesperson explains.
Sex: Read more
Romantic gestures and physical touch are best ways to initiate sex, study finds (Yahoo Life UK, 3-min read)
Sarah Ferguson says 'saucy underwear' is key to bringing spark back into relationship (Yahoo Life UK, 4-min read)
A quarter of Brits are having less sex than they used to. Here's how to boost your libido (Yahoo Life UK, 5-min read)