Ever used ‘oh, we got athletic last night’ as an excuse to take a rest day from exercise?
Well Lady Friday is here to tell you exactly why bedroom exercise isn’t enough to justify skipping the gym.
A study from Quebec shows that it’s actually not as strenuous as it seems – at least for the heterosexual couples they tested.
21 straight couples, all between 18 and 35, submitted to wearing special tracking devices while getting intimate.
The tracking devices sense calorie burn levels – you’ll have seen versions of them on the arms of serious joggers on Bondi Beach in the mornings.
After a brief calibration to set up how each person burned calories, by putting them to work for 30 minutes on a treadmill, the scientists sent the couples home with instructions to get busy.
The results? Intimacy burns, on average, a piddling 4.2 calories a minute for men, and only 3.1 for women.
So how does that stack up – and why the difference between the sexes?
3.1 calories per minute may burn a decent amount if you keep working for an hour, but the study showed that for those couples at least, the average (including foreplay, presumably) was about 25 minutes.
That’s fairly standard or even extensive for a normal session in the bedroom – many couples report a variation between long, lazy sessions and quickies of under 10 minutes.
For 25 minutes of exercise, it would have been better for the couples to go for a run instead, which burns a much higher ratio of energy.
(Of course, that’s ignoring the other health benefits of the bedroom – helping the heart, prompting endorphins and bonding hormones, and raising serotonin uptake to improve mood and energy).
The difference between the genders, with men having a higher burn rate, is probably a function of the study itself, the biology of young men, and the type of bedroom romp they had.
Missionary creates more ‘work’ for the man in a heterosexual clinch, and it’s probable that for the study, the participants were told to have as normal sex as possible – so no swinging from the chandeliers, unusual positions or new moves.
Men also, biologically, burn more calories than women during exercise (curse them!) because they often have more muscle. Young men in particular, because of their higher muscle proportion, burn it very efficiently indeed.
21 couples isn’t very much, but it’s certainly a start – and enough to know that a night-before roll in the hay doesn’t get you out of the gym in the morning.
Lady Friday xx
Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…
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