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ACE Reminds the Nation that Exercise Can Improve Sexual Function in Men and Women

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2007) – Want to heat up your sex life and don’t know how? This year for Valentine’s Day forget the box of chocolates or flowers and head to the gym for a workout with your partner. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s non-profit fitness advocate, points out numerous studies that show a direct correlation between exercise and improved sexual function.

“A growing body of evidence supports the notion that regular exercise may enhance sexuality through a variety of mechanisms that affect both the mind and body,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for ACE. “Physical improvements in muscle strength and tone, endurance, body composition and cardiovascular function (specifically, enhanced peripheral blood flow) can all enhance sexual functioning. Be careful not to over-train; too much exercise can actually decrease testosterone levels leading to a less-robust sexual appetite.”

  1. A Harvard study of nearly 23,000 men found that obese men who exercised little had two and a half times the risk of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) compared to men who were not overweight and who exercised vigorously 30 minutes a day.
  2. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center concluded that overweight adults who lose only 10 percent of their total body weight report significant improvements in their sexual quality of life.
  3. The National Institutes of Health estimates that most cases of ED are due to a combination of chronic conditions like heart disease that impair blood flow to the penis and conditions like diabetes that injure genital nerves. An estimated 85% of men with diabetes experience ED at some point.
  4. In October 2004, an article appearing in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality concluded that individuals who exercise regularly feel better about themselves, perceive they are more sexually desirable and experience greater levels of satisfaction.

“Sexual function is affected by general health and the more you can do to improve your health with physical activity, the better your sex life can be,” said Bryant. “Exercise has psychological benefits as well such as stress reduction, improved self-esteem, elevated mood and increased confidence that can also contribute to a more enriched sex life.” ACE also recognizes “American Heart Month” this February and encourages the nation to get active to keep their hearts healthy for years to come.

About ACE

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest non-profit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at


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About ACE

Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America's health and wellbeing. Over the past 30 years, we have become an established resource for health and fitness professionals, and the public, providing comprehensive, unbiased research and validating ourselves as the country's trusted authority on health and fitness.

Today, ACE is the largest nonprofit health and fitness certification, education and training organization in the world with more than 65,000 certified professionals who hold more than 72,000 ACE Certifications. With a long heritage in certification, education, training and public outreach, we are among the most respected organizations in the industry and a resource the public has come to trust for health and fitness education.