OK, don’t hate me. But, I have to say a dirty 8 letter word…EXERCISE. Believe it or not, exercise helped me find my sex drive.
I reluctantly embraced exercise and the only reason is because I was in a downward spiral. My lifestyle had to change. I felt miserable physically.
With three teenage sons under one roof and a marriage that needed some repair, I coped through food/alcohol and mindless television. It was destroying my health. The doctor was not happy with my weight, my blood test numbers, or my blood pressure. Libido? Ha! It was nowhere in sight. My once vigorous body was huffing, puffing and wobbly when walking up only one flight of stairs! I felt ungainly, wimpy, and not sexually attractive for my husband. Something had to be done, but what?
It was in the unlikely place of prayer and Bible study led me to this better avenue of managing stress.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you himself and make you strong, firm and steadfast,” 1 Peter 5:10.
Exercise had transformed relatives and friends. Articles touted that it helped increase sex-drive.
Changing my mindset toward exercise
“Deeply disturbed” is how I used to label those who crave exercise. (Now, I see them as blessed of God!) As much as I didn’t want to work at it, I didn’t want to remain weak and feeble. Sexual stirrings needed to be restored. My husband was making great strides in connecting with me emotionally and I wanted to connect with him sexually as part of our repair process.
First, I put on boxing gloves. But high impact kickboxing was too harsh for my joints. The treadmill didn’t cut it, too boring. Yoga was a near miss. I liked it but it didn’t engage me mentally enough.
Jazzercise was the jackpot! (I know, you just asked yourself, ‘Is jazzercise still around?’ Yes, it is and better than ever. It’s not your grandma’s jazzercise.) This workout spoke to my heart because music is such an important element of jazzercise. It works my muscles and satisfies my soul. The frequently changing dance routines and music kept me interested. There is a warm-up, 30 minutes of dancing cardio, and 15 minutes of strength training. I knew I could stick with it for the rest of my life! (I started in 2006 and now, 12 years later, I’m still jazz’ing three or four times a week.) Plus, I’ve gained a new tribe. The women I jazzercise with are always supportive.
What I’ve gained from consistent exercise….
Less Depression, Anxiety and a Brighter Outlook.
A Harvard study found that exercise has longer lasting anti-depressant effects than drug therapy (and it’s cheaper!). Within 30 minutes of exercise a feel-good biochemical cocktail of endorphins (related in composition to morphine), norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (libido chemical) are released in your brain.
Less Brain Fog, Ability to Preserve Good Mental Acuity
Chinese research has proven that exercise in middle aged mice can increase neural (brain) stem cell production. Exercise helps keep your brain from deteriorating and even helps with growth of new neural cells.
The sense of a prayer answered left me in wonderment. The success of an accomplished goal helped me feel capable.
Pain Management– My aches and pains have diminished due to the endorphin release. Dealing with less pain helps me cope with life better. My strength has increased – I can get the pickle-jar lid off by myself! Weight bearing exercise is shown to help stave off osteoperosis.
Better Food Choices – I couldn’t sabotage improved health with unhealthy intake. Again through prayer (I can do all things through Christ) and beneficial brain chemicals, exercise helped me have better self-control.
Stamina – I can now play/work for longer periods of time without feeling drained, which leads to the next item….
Sexual Empowerment– Exercise hit a home run in my libido rescue mission!(See – Where Did My Sexy Go?)
Sex-Drive Increased – serotonin (mentioned above) is released which triggers the sexy feeling of desire. Feeling less anxiety also helps to increase sexual desire. Turned-on hubby, Mr. Muscle, admired and praised my effort and the results he saw. This made me feel even spicier.
According to Michael Gurian, in “What Could He Be Thinking?” a man may actually feel that his wife is ‘doing her part’ by keeping physically active and sexually attractive. (And my opinion…this can be flipped – a man is doing his part by working toward better health to living longer.)
More strength allows exploration of different sexual positions. Better self-image allows me to be comfortable feeling sexually desirable.
“Did you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…You were bought with a price, therefore honor God with your bodies,” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Honestly, I was skeptical that exercise could do anything other than help me lose weight. 12 years since jumping into jazzercise, I stand amazed at the other benefits of a regular workout.
With our recent move from North Carolina to south Florida, I was overwhelmed with trying to adjust to my new surroundings, unpacking, updating most of the house, and going to school. So, I went on an exercise hiatus for 6 months because I felt I just didn’t have the time for one more thing. I assumed I would have trouble with weight management (which I did, gaining 15 pounds). Surprisingly to me, I suffered the most mentally. I was in a dismal state. Physically, I lost a lot of strength. Emotionally, I was wretched; sad, weepy, irritable, mentally foggy, and exhausted. My desire for sex was starting to disappear, as well. In retrospect, I see that just when I needed an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety the most, I let it go.
I returned to jazzercise and now have a month of consistent attendance under my belt. Wow, is my outlook clearer! I don’t dread waking up in the morning, anymore. Exercise has indeed become my xanax and wellbutrin of choice.
Sexual intimacy is much better now, too. I have better endurance and stronger interest. Plus, since learning how kegel’s improve orgasm, there is greater satisfaction.
Get powerful, ladies!
Ultimately, getting up and moving consistently will help you lose weight and weakness while gaining sexual interest and physical and mental stamina. You gain the ability to better serve the Lord, yourself, your husband, and your family. Exercise helped improve my marriage through more satisfying sexual desire and ability.
- Exercise helped improve physical and mental health, so that I could look to the needs of others.
- Exercise is cheaper than prescription drugs for pain and depression.
- Exercise empowered me to feel (and look) sexier.
Exercise isn’t a cure-all, but it’s pretty darn close!!!
Do you need to make some lifestyle changes, like me?
You CAN do this, I KNOW you can because the Lord will help you!!
PRAY about becoming healthy. Health is a healing balm and it is pleasing to God when you take care of His Temple. How many miracles of healing did Jesus bestow? Let the Holy Spirit partner with you in this journey. Exercise God’s Spirit. Tap into the self-control and diligence the Spirit can provide.
JUST MOVE, find your favorite (jazzercise, zumba, swimming, walking, biking, vigorous sex). Research states the type of exercise doesn’t matter to reap benefits. Consistency is important. START SLOW and work your way into it! A 10 minute walk each night for a week, 20 minutes the next week, etc. For more simple tips to incorporate exercise into your already busy day see Calm.Healthy.Sexy‘s sane suggestions.
(Disclaimer: Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician.)
Final Prayer for you, beautiful lady:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13
Want to hear more about how to improve your marriage’s sexual intimacy? Listen in!
On February 14, Gaye (of Calm.Healthy.Sexy), Chris (of Forgiven Wife), J (of Hot, Holy & Humorous), and I get sassy and serious about all things to do with sex and marriage. You’ll be able to find us monthly talking about different topics at forchristianwives.com, where we share the naked truth about sexual intimacy.
(This article, originally written by Bonny Logsdon Burns, first appeared as a guest post on The Alabaster Jar with Jolene Engle.)
First time visiting? Welcome!
You may want to start by reading, “Why Sex?”
If you would like to receive each new post via email, subscribe HERE.
If you’d like to connect further, I’d love to get to know you better. Please follow me on facebook, pinterest, or twitter (@oysterbed7).