16 ways to ‘get in the mood’

One in 10 women experiences a loss of their sexual desire.

That equates to millions of women who’ve lost an important part of a healthy life, year after year.

And unlike the male libido, a woman’s sex life is often dismissed by doctors when brought up during a medical visit. Big Pharma is making huge profits by helping men carry on in the bedroom, but they seem to care too little about helping women.

Maybe you don’t really think it’s a big deal, but here’s something you should know…

Your sexual energy can make you feel more positive. Sexual intimacy produces the brain neurotransmitters dopamine, the “feel good” neuro-hormone, and oxytocin, the “intimacy and belonging” neuro-hormone that is released when you kiss someone, have sex, breastfeed and give birth.

If you’re not enjoying the active intimate sex life you’d like, you may be surprised to find that exercise may help you bring the romance back.

The best tip for libido-boosting exercise is to build your exercise around things that move your hips. Increasing blood flow to the very target of your waning desire can help immediately.

Take an idea or two from the following list. You don’t have to do them all. Pick one or two that appeal to you and do them consistently if even for minutes a day.

  1. Pick up a hula-hoop and give it a go for a few minutes a day.
  2. Try pilates movements that emphasize articulation of the spine and pelvic tilts. Roll-ups and roll downs or side-lying leg raises are good ones to try.
  3. Even gentle yoga moves like cat-cow back can get you in touch with your libido again.
  4. Do simple hip bridges lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  5. Take a jazz dance class. The isolation moves you’ll do will do wonders for you.
  6. Add a foam roller (see my demonstration here) to your exercise recovery routine and roll your bum, hip flexors, and the sides of your hip.
  7. Perform core exercises that truly target the entire core, not just abs.
  8. Try stretches for stiff hips.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Here are eight more ways you can recover your sex drive and enhance hormones that may be getting in the way of your best libido…

Lift weights

In addition to getting your hips in action with lower body exercises, weight training does two more things for you…

First, you’ll be boosting testosterone levels naturally, which is important since you produce less testosterone as you age. According to my colleague Dr. Michael Cutler, testosterone is the most abundant biologically active female hormone, even more abundant throughout a woman’s lifespan than estrogen. So no longer can we refer to it as a “male” hormone.

Secondly, you’ll feel better about yourself with some power in your workout that increases both tone and confidence.

Find your exercise sweet spot

Over-training will kill your libido due to the increase in cortisol levels. Now, most studies on this focus on men, but it makes sense it would have the same effect in women, so don’t let that dissuade you. Unfortunately, most studies on libido focus disproportionately on men.

On the other hand, undertraining won’t get you enough stimulation, pun intended. Your ideal training level is unique so you may need to assess what’s happening now and increase or decrease for a trial period of time to see how it affects you.

Eat high-quality protein

You’ll be helping those testosterone levels and boosting the results of your weight training by getting adequate protein into each of three meals.

Reduce or eliminate alcohol

Alcohol can reduce testosterone levels. Try giving it up, at least temporarily, if you’re drinking regularly.

Sleep in bed first

If you’re sleep-deprived, your body is under stress and pumping out cortisol. Stress beyond a certain point is not going to help your cause. Some individuals find intimacy helps relieve stress, but again you’ve got to find that sweet spot where you can relax enough to partake. Work on your sleep hygiene. That is, create a bedtime routine that helps you get a few good nights’ sleep to reduce cortisol. Optimal sleep will also enhance growth hormone that will help that weight training pay off in a fitter body you’ll feel good in.

Exercise with your partner

There’s some proof that active men and women (may I suggest doing some of the exercises above that involve your hips) enjoy an active sex life as well.

Reduce your stress levels

Stressful days don’t lend themselves to playful nights. If you’re under stress from physical stressors like exercise, hormone changes or from emotional stressors from work, finances or you’re simply a worrier, your bedroom activity can suffer. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Check your hormones

Many midlife women feel their sex drive beginning to tank starting in peri-menopause. Whether you’re at midlife or not, you might be surprised to find how many women suffer from low libido. There are many options regarding hormone therapy and it’s a personal decision. But if you need some information, Dr. Cutler provides some helpful information on HRT myths and breakthroughs.

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Debra Atkinson

By Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson Is the founder of the Flipping 50 movement and host of the Flipping 50 podcast and TV show available on your iphone, ipad, and Apple TV. She is the author of four books including You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women and Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust.

Debra is a contributing blogger on the Huffington Post, ShareCare, Prime Woman, and Livingbetter50. She provides solutions for women approaching 50 or who have already turned the corner on what to eat, how to move, and the mindset for lifestyle change with hormone balance that will make the next years as the best years. Find her resources here.