Challenge those who say you reach sexual prime in your 20s. For many seniors, satisfaction is increased as they age. The Mayo Clinic cites factors such as less distractions, more free time, increased privacy, and reduced fear of pregnancy for contributing to more enjoyable sex for those in their golden years. So why does it seem like sex as a senior is downplayed in the media? We’re not sure, but we’re here to tell you your sexual prowess doesn’t have to decline as your age increases, and with a few tips you can be more satisfied now than ever.
It starts with being active. After all, someone who is fit, agile, and possesses endurance will have the right tools for a solid sex life. “No matter your age or gender, staying active can help you feel better about your body, help you appreciate your older self, give you more confidence and happiness, and your overall outlook can be very attractive to others,” says Suseela Kumar, MD, Internal medicine/geriatrics at Kaiser Permanente Central Valley.
Start with exercise. If you aren’t currently working out often, embark on a new routine that includes a mix of aerobics and strength training for a well-rounded outcome. In addition to improving overall health, these activities can also help to increase stamina and endurance, which is a benefit in the bedroom regardless of your age. Even trading in those TV hours for simple activities such as standing, stretching, moving around the house, cooking, gardening, or taking the dog out for a walk, can have a big impact on mobility. To get more benefit, sign up for a yoga or Tai Chi class that can improve flexibility, overall stamina, balance mobility, and reduce fall risk. Stretching is especially important as it can reduce the possibility of injury but also make movements between the sheets easier. As you exercise more and more, your sex drive may naturally increase as well as your energy levels.
While exercise can certainly increase your physical abilities, which are important for an enjoyable sex life, just as much of it is mental. “People who are active and lead a healthy lifestyle live longer and have a satisfied happy life,” Dr. Kumar says. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood but it can also create a sense of self confidence you may be lacking. Whether the confidence comes from tackling a new challenge, feeling more sprite, or looking different in the mirror, that self-esteem will show on the outside and make you more attractive to a spouse or potential partner.
Some sexual barriers exist for older couples. Poor cardiovascular health is one factor than can lead to problems in the bedroom as blood flow is reduced. Treating underlying conditions that affect the heart, lungs, or even other parts of the body can help, too.
Before starting a new exercise routine, check in with your physician. And don’t take on too much too fast. The goal should be to start slow and work your way up to longer workout sessions more frequently. Dr. Kumar says, “Once regular exercise becomes a habit, seniors can be encouraged to incorporate more vigorous forms into their program.” Other tips to help seniors ease into exercise include getting a personal trainer, joining a gym, going to yoga classes, or getting acupuncture.