If you were thinking of skipping the gym today, Halle Berry just gave you a surprising reason to work out.
The 52-year-old actor took to Instagram to tout the benefits of cardio and revealed she loves the hard work because it boosts her sex drive.
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“For me, cardio is an essential part of my workout, and I believe that my fitness regime is not complete without it!” she wrote. “Cardio and heart health can go hand-in-hand; it efficiently pumps blood through the body, balancing your #BloodPressure and resting heart rate.”
Berry then listed some of the other benefits of cardio, including improving memory, reducing fatigue and increasing circulation.
“My personal favourite,” she wrote, “increased sexual arousal in women.”
So does science back up Berry’s claim?
According to research out of the University of Texas, exercise does increase “physiological sexual arousal in women,” although cardio wasn’t specifically outlined as the only catalyst.
Cardio is known, however, to reduce cortisol — the stress hormone — and boost feel-good endorphins. Stress is known to be a libido killer, so doing anything to combat stress is good for your sex drive.
“Exercise affects your hormones — including ‘happy hormones’ such as dopamine — and provides energy and helps you feel positive,” explained Kathleen Trotter, a personal trainer and life coach.
“Having energy and being positive makes you want to have sex.”
Plus, cardio encourages blood circulation. This means working out can help blood flow to your genital region — which is a key factor to sexual response.
Since the mind and body are connected, how you move and what you do impacts how you think and feel, Trotter explained to Global News. When you work out and feel good, you’ll experience other positive bodily reactions.
“Exercise helps build self-esteem, which makes you want to have sex,” Trotter said. “Once you have a positive relationship with yourself, you can have a positive relationship with an intimate partner.”
And what better reward for a long run than a little romp in the sack?