And according to the team at the University of North Carolina, men who reported high exercise levels were more likely to report lower interest in sex. This is part of the "female athlete triad", which also includes osteoporosis and disordered eating.
In news that will come as a relief to couch potatoes the world over, a new study suggests that men who frequent the gym have less sex than their apparently lazier counterparts. To study the associations between endurance exercise training and male libido, researchers recruited about 1,100 men to respond to an online poll about their sex lives, such as how often they thought about sex, and how often and how intensely they worked out. Everybody was interviewed about their sexual appetite, classifying them regarding the low, medium and high libido.
The researchers categorized these men based on the duration and intensity of their workouts, such as short or long, and light, moderate or intense.
Prof Anthony Hackney, who led the study, said strenuous exercise was found to be "associated" with lower libido. Rather, the team aimed to link high levels of chronic male endurance training to possible fertility problems - and low sex drive is, in fact, a fertility problem.
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They were also asked whether they do intense, moderate or light exercise. Conversely, men who exercised for an average amount of time proved to have a higher level of sex drive. He is also looking forward to determining which of the two has a bigger impact on male sex drive - workout intensity or workout length - and determining the point where exercise begins to have a negative effect on it. This occurs when testosterone and the luteinizing hormone are suppressed.
According to those researchers, weight loss can reduce the instances of low testosterone levels in these men by nearly 50 per cent. Most of these participants were professional athletes who underwent intense training sessions for years. It's a fine line, however, as being a couch potato can also tank his (and your) sex drive. Less is known about men and the effects of working out on their libido and fertility.
Prof Hackney added: "Fertility specialists will often ask a woman about whether and how much she exercises".
"Clinicians who treat male patients for sexual disorders and, or council couples on infertility issues should consider the degree of endurance exercise training a man is performing as a potential complicating factor", reads the study.
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