24/03/2015 2:19 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Listen Up Men! Better Sex Comes With More Exercise

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Strong sperm cartoon character training with dumbells.

Regardless of race, men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function, says a study.

When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

"However, we are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if less intense, is better than no exercise at all for an improved sexual function," said study co-author Stephen Freedland from Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, is the first to link the benefits of exercise in relation to improved erectile and sexual function in a racially diverse group of patients.

Nearly 300 study participants self-reported their activity levels, which researchers then categorised as sedentary, mildly active, moderately active or highly active.

The subjects also self-reported their sexual function, including the ability to have erections, orgasms, the quality and frequency of erections and overall sexual function.

Results found that men who reported more frequent exercise — a total of 18 metabolic equivalents (METS) per week — had higher sexual function scores, regardless of race.

MET hours reflect both the total time of exercise and the intensity of exercise.

A total of 18 METS can be achieved by combining exercises with different intensities but is the equivalent of two hours of strenuous exercise, such as running or swimming, 3.5 hours of moderate exercise, or six hours of light exercise per week.

"In contrast, men of any ethnicity who exercised less reported lower levels of sexual function," added Adriana Vidal, senior author of the study.

The authors, however, cautioned that exercise should be tailored for each individual.