Depending on the study, between 10 percent and 30 percent of adults are affected by low libido. These numbers increase with age, of course, but even among young adults, the percentage is significant. Aging aside, causes for low libido include illness, low testosterone, prescription medication, drug and alcohol abuse, pregnancy, stress, and poor self esteem. Lack of exercise is another cause of low libido, for which more exercise is the cure. The following exercises have been scientifically-proven for libido enhancement.

Strength Training

Low testosterone is arguably the best predictor of sexual dysfunction in men. As men age, their testosterone level tends to drop. The same result occurs as men gain unhealthy weight. “Unhealthy” is the key word. Gaining healthy weight – in the form of muscle from strength training – is an effective treatment for low T and therefore low libido. Research has shown that testosterone increases in males immediately after weight training. Thus, exercises that incorporate heavy weights or resistance like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses can do wonders for libido. However, those who have decided to treat their low libido with strength training have to be careful not to work out too much. Some studies have concluded that strenuous, prolonged exercise can actually lower testosterone. It’s important to find a happy medium.  


In women, the link between testosterone and libido is less apparent but can still be found in scientific literature. For instance, in a meta-analytic review published by the The Lancet, testosterone was declared an effective treatment for sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. However, the testosterone was not administered through exercise.

Exercise, specifically resistance exercise, was found to increase testosterone in young, healthy women in a 2001 study. Conversely, cardio is a confirmed libidinal enhancer for both women and men. Exercises such as running, biking and swimming were found to increase sexual arousal and satisfaction in women and lower the risk of erectile dysfunction in men. This is according to a survey published in a 2019 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which also found that 8,260 is the magic number of calories for men to burn per week to reduce their risk of ED. The median age for males in this survey was 41-45, which means that regular cardio exercise helps stave off erectile dysfunction in younger men just as it does for older men. It’s estimated that one in four newly-diagnosed ED sufferers are on the younger end of the spectrum: the condition is by no means age-specific.  

Walking/Light Exercise

Yes, even light exercise can boost libido. The implementation of a progressive walking program reduced the cases of erectile dysfunction in heart attack patients by 71 percent. It took just 30 days to see these staggering results. 30 minutes is the recommended daily walking time for older and immuno-compromised people to stay in shape and strengthen their libido.

Exercise is one of the best treatments for sexual issues that include lack of desire and erectile dysfunction. Strength training, resistance exercises, running, biking, swimming and walking have all been found to enhance the libidos of males and females of various ages. Science and medical journals are overflowing with examples.

Sally Perkins

Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.


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