We’ve all heard it before – having sex actually counts as exercise because of the amount of calories you burn. While it’s fun to imagine you and your partner having an engaging and sweaty night PT session, is sex actually as beneficial as an actual workout?
As much as we’d like to think sex can substitute proper exercise, it’s not quite up to the task of replacing your regular gym routine. Time magazine reported that sexual activity simply isn’t that effective.
Unless you do it right.
One big thing holding it back is the amount of time spent. The average time people engage in sexual activity is just 6 minutes according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. We know HIIT is all the rage, but even that’s a little too short to count as effective exercise.
The amount of calories burned also differs between men and women. Researchers from The University of Montreal found that men burned about 100 calories compared to about 69 for women after about 25 minutes of sexual activity. To put that into perspective, men and women burn roughly 276 and 213 calories respectively after a 30-minute run. We obviously know which we would rather be doing, but the figures don’t lie.
Where you end up in bed also matters, with studies showing that being on top often resulted in a higher amount of calories burnt.
So what’s the verdict?
Sex will definitely burn some calories, but it isn’t always necessarily a workout. Go in, have fun, and enjoy this intimate activity. Just don’t expect it to replace that run you promised your girlfriend you’d join her in. And try to last longer than 6 minutes.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer