Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) may have fumed, “There’s no crying in baseball,” but he might have been surprised to discover that, for the women on his team, there was heap of potential pleasure to be had while running the bases. Turns out physical activity -- everything from weightlifting to sit-ups, jogging to biking, even yoga -- is powerful feel-good stuff. And it’s not just women who get the rewards. According to researchers at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, their latest findings apply to men too.
We’ve been saying for years that getting and staying active delivers big benefits physically and psychologically. You know our “10,000 steps a day” mantra? We promise it lowers bad cholesterol, clears out your arteries and lowers your blood pressure and blood glucose. Exercise helps you dodge everything from osteoporosis to dementia, and protects you from sexual dysfunction.
Emotionally, exercise bestows a whole second menu of goodness:
--Stress melts away; you crank out pleasure-boosting endorphins and cut the risk of moderate depression almost in half.
--Self-confidence and self-esteem skyrocket with accomplishment.
--Body image improves, even before you lose weight or see substantial changes in muscle tone, and that makes you more interested in canoodling with your sweetheart.
--And, it’s confirmed, sensations of pleasure also register during exercise for many men and women. So go out there and feel the burn and a whole lot of other good stuff too.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.