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Can Too Much Exercise Kill Your Sex Drive?

Too Much Exercise Can Kill Your Libido

Getting fit and "shredded" can kill your libido, according to a study

The University of North Carolina studied people's exercise habits and how it impacted their libido levels. The results show that there's a downside to obtaining abs and a fit, toned body: your sex life will probably suffer!

New research shows too much exercise can kill your sex drive. The University of North Carolina in the US studied people's exercise habits and libido levels and discovered that those who train for a long time at high intensity suffer an almost instant loss of sex drive.

Women require a certain level of body fat for their reproductive system to work at its best. Getting to lower levels of body fat can impact on women's normal hormone functioning. Women also need a certain level of body fat for the reproductive system to work effectively. Too much exercise and too little body fat can cause the reproductive system to stop working properly, thus nipping passion in the bud.

Exhaustion from training leaves some too tired to perform, while pushing yourself with extreme exercise can lead to an under-functioning pituitary gland, meaning low levels of testosterone and oestrogen.

Four fitness fans told The Sun reporter Jenny Francis how working out and enjoying intense training has affected their love life.

Gym bunny Nikki Harvey worries that a "zero sex drive" will push away her partner. Nikki, from Wolverhampton, was an overweight smoker who did no exercise but has transformed her body in three years. She says:

"In the autumn of 2014 I was a size 16, drinking, smoking, living off junk food and generally pretty miserable. One night I met Jordan and we quickly became an item. He’s a rugby player and he caught me crying to myself in my bedroom when I couldn’t fit into my size 14 clothes.

"He told me anyone can turn their life around and inspired me to get healthy and take up fitness and bodybuilding. I signed up for a 14-week intensive programme, pushing me harder than I ever dreamed possible. I loved every second."

24 year old Nikki says she has not had sex with her partner Jordan in more than two months.

"Every gram of excess weight was stripped from my body – better than any faddy diet. I now train every morning at 5.30 for two hours, then do an hour's cardio every evening. It really impacts on my relationship. I haven’t been on a date night with Jordan since January and my libido has vanished.

"Right now I have zero sex drive so my partner and I haven't had made love for two months. He hates it but he knows it's not because I don't fancy him. I love my training so much that two months ago I quit my job to do it full time. My libido might be gone but I look better and am now so much healthier. I just hope that my partner will stick by me without sex."

Fitness-lover Gabriella Prior, aged 22 from Bournemouth, would rather be in good shape than have a sex life. Gabriella has not had sex for more than 18 months. She says:

"At the start of 2016 I did almost no exercise. I went out drinking, enjoyed lazy weekends, had boyfriends and a healthy sex life. I wasn't depressed but I felt like I didn't have any hobbies. One morning, on a whim, I decided to join the nearby House of Pain boxing gym. I was nervous but when I left I was so full of energy I couldn't wait to do it again.

"Exercising is now like a drug to me. Within weeks I was training twice a day for two hours each session, five or six days a week. Now I don't have time to meet men. I have realised I don’t need a relationship or sex to be happy. I value independence and fitness more than I thought possible. My sex life now is a dim and distant memory."

Milly Mahoney's low sex drive puts pressure on her relationship with partner Manny Tankov, 26, an air-conditioning worker. Milly, 25, of Wood Green, North London, says:

"I remember seeing a friend's washboard stomach on holiday three years ago and thinking, 'I want that'. I'd done a bit of running before but knew I had to hit the weights to get the body I wanted. So I joined a gym."

Millie Mahoney revealed that her low libido has put pressure on her relationship.

"Five or six days a week I train as hard as I can for two hours, to the point of exhaustion. When Manny comes on to me, sex is the last thing I want as I'm shattered. I push away his hands. He's visibly frustrated and takes a few minutes to calm down.

"Before I started training I would have sex at least five days a week, which seems strange now. I'm also obsessive about my diet, weighing every last gram of protein or carbs – which means we do not eat takeaways together or have date nights in restaurants. I've been with Manny for 18 months and he understands how much I love working out – it was my physique that first attracted him. I feel fantastic and look great. No amount of sex beats that."

Stacey Boyce trains so hard that she often cannot even muster enough energy to cuddle her husband. The conference company director from Brighton goes to the gym daily and admits that starting at 5am or finishing after midnight means she has no time for sex. She says:

"I have been training really hard down at the gym since 2014. I'm in the gym most days of the week and my diet is so closely controlled, it has become completely addictive for me. I have been with my husband, Mark, for six years and thankfully he also works in the fitness industry.

"He understands the way I am, to a certain extent, but the strain on our relationship is massive."

31-year old Stacey says that she has sex once a month.

"Before I started with all the gym training, it was totally different between the two of us. We would have sex at least three times a week. Now, sometimes we don’t talk for days –  and having sex even once a month is a push.

"My libido is non-existent. I know I'm demanding a lot from my body by lifting massive weights and sometimes I can't even cuddle. Every single muscle in my body hurts, making sex completely out of the question. I'm exhausted all the time and when I'm training hard I have hard pecs instead of boobs, so definitely don't feel at all attractive or feminine."

Stacey Boyce admits that her libido is non-existent since intense training.

"I get so focused on myself, constantly checking my weight, measuring body fat, weighing food and training for endless hours. I know it's very selfish to behave in this way. But that's how I became a 2015 British UK Ultimate Physiques Bikini Champion. Of course, sex is natural and enjoyable. But if you are in a loving and understanding relationship, the sex can wait."

Is your diet and training affecting your sex life?

If you or your partner are experiencing a low sex drive, a sex toy can definitely help! Many couples are discovering the benefits sex toys can have in their relationship, by assisting with mood-setting, increasing pleasure and helping both partners to reach orgasm faster.

Browse Adulttoymegastore's range of most-popular couples sex toys here.

Janelle Cheesman, PR Specialist & Sexual Wellness Writer
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