As a Dating Coach, I have a lot of conversations with single men and women about what they are looking for in a potential match. Everyone wants to meet and be with someone they are attracted to. Yet, attraction is subjective; what one person finds attractive another may not. That is except for two qualities I hear over and over again - and no, it has nothing to do with height, age, or cup size! Both men and women rank “fit” and “passion” high on their lists of characteristics they find most attractive in the opposite sex. What I find most intriguing is that many of these same people aren’t necessarily fit or living passionately themselves, though they wish they were.
HEALTHY IS SEXY
One of the most common challenges I hear from my clients (most of whom are business professionals) is that they feel self conscious about their bodies, which subsequently results in a lack confidence. And these singles are not alone. Research shows that most people are dissatisfied with their level of fitness. It’s been my experience that the starting point for many of my clients who are looking for love is getting their health on track. In terms of dating, this step has two main benefits, firstly it helps them with their “inner game” by increasing their confidence and overall vitality. Secondly, it also improves their marketability. Dating (especially online dating) has a lot to do understanding how to authentically brand and market yourself. Another bonus is that being a fit single is a great way to stand out dating market where the demand is much higher than the supply, especially in older age brackets.
PASSION IS SEXY
Dating is often compared to job interviews, and with good reason. Many people lead with questions that focus on what someone does for a living rather than who they are as a person. And while we can’t always relate to what others do for work, passion is something we can all understand. So instead of asking someone, “So, what do you do?” make it your intention on a date to find out what lights the other person up. When people talk about their passion they have an energy about them that is magnetic and energizing. No matter what someone is passionate about - cooking, gardening, dancing, etc/whatever - passion is sexy.
LIVING A HEALTHY-SEXY LIFE
So if everyone wants to live a fit and passionate life, what I would call a “healthy-sexy life,” what keeps so many people from doing it? The most common reasons I hear are that people either feel too busy, lack the motivation, or simply don’t know where to start. As a coach, I understand that the drive to make any lasting change needs to come from a strong “why,” what Simon Sinek describes as “the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do.” Take fitness for example, we all know exercise is beyond important, but unless we have an emotional connection that inspires us, most people won’t take action/get moving.
7 SEXY REASONS TO GET FIT NOW
If you’re in need of some inspiring reasons to entice you to get healthy-sexy, here are my top 7 reasons for getting fit that directly benefit your love life, whether you are single and dating or in a long-term relationship.
NO. 1: BETTER SEX
What better reason to exercise than knowing it can make your sex life a whole lot better? In addition to boosting our mood and energy, exercising naturally improves our body image which is essential to confidently initiating and engaging sexually. Tara Stiles, founder of Stala Yoga and author of “Slim Calm SexyYoga,” says “... the better you feel about yourself, the sexier you are. The sexier you are, the more open you are to your sensuality. The more open you are to your sensuality, well, the better you feel. Think of it as a pleasure cycle - and enjoy every minute of it.”
Besides enhancing your body image, exercise can help some of the most common sexual challenges. Exercise has been linked to revving up sex drive by enhancing circulation to all parts of the body and increasing hormones responsible for a healthy libido. It is reported that 26% of American women reporthaving a low sex drive and have trouble becoming aroused during sex. Engaging in physical activities such as yoga can help by increasing blood flow to the genital area and increases arousal. For men, those who exercised regularly were less likely to deal with erectile dysfunction or delayed ejaculation than those who didn’t exercise. This is the result of improved heart health by shedding excess belly fat and improving poor circulation.
NO. 2: LOOK BETTER NAKED
This benefit of regular exercise can take sometime to see, but once you do it’s a game changer. Whether your starting point is to improve your muscle tone or shed some extra pounds, feeling fit in your body is empowering and makes you feel sexy! It’s important to note here that being “fit” is unique to each person, and has more to do with a healthy lifestyle than a number on a scale. In 2013, I learned this lesson personally when I got a Dexa Scan and discovered that at 26% body fat I was “skinny fat.” It wasn’t until I put myself on a 3 month fitness program and changed my body composition by taking my body to 19% body fat (without losing a single pound) that I experienced what it truly meant to be fit in my body. As result I experienced a whole new confidence that came from feeling stronger. Getting to know what it means to be fit in your own body is an essential step to healthy-sexy living.
NO. 3: TRUE CONFIDENCE
Although both men and women rank confidence as highly attractive, many singles that I talk to are confused about how to be confident without coming across as arrogant. True self confidence comes from a grounded sense of self that is radiated outward. Exercise plays a critical role in the development of confidence, says Aniko Kaszas, Lifestyle Coach and Trainer at Equinox. "There's a different between LOOKING fit, and actually BEING fit. Aiming to attain a certain look can lead to disordered behaviours, which will actually erode self-confidence. You need to make goals that relate back to being strong, powerful, and comfortable in your own skin. When you're working hard to boost your cardiovascular capacity and overall strength, your body will become its own version of sexy. Celebrate that."
NO. 4: HAPPINESS IS SEXY
In our happiness-driven/obsessed culture, exercise is a great way to increase your levels of happiness. Regular exercise works to increase endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier. As a result our love lives benefit in two main ways. Firstly, happy people are perceived to be more attractive and approachable. The result? Men are much more likely to confidently approach a woman who is smiling and has open body language, and women are much more receptive to men they perceive as confident. It’s win-win.
Exercise also directly impacts our happiness by reducing levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the body, leaving you feeling more relaxed. It’s hard to feel sexy when you’re worried or stressed. So if you need an emotional lift before an important date or you’re heading home to be with your partner after a tough day at work, a workout can help you to make that transition. It is also important to mention that too much exercise can actually increasestress. Rest is just as important to healthy living, so find your balance.
NO. 5: BETTER ENERGY
An energy boost is one of the quickest returns on exercise. People who exercise regularly are familiar with the increased energy levels they get from a great workout, and would be hard pressed to give it up. Research shows that as little as 20 minutes of low-to-moderate aerobic exercise, three days a week can help people feel less fatigued and more energized. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you naturally have more energy to do the things you enjoy. What’s good for the physical heart is also good for the emotional heart.
NO. 6: BETTER SLEEP
According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who got at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, reported a 65 % improvement in sleep quality compared to those with less physical activity. They also experienced being more alert during the day and reported falling asleep more easily. Like exercise, we need to appreciate the value of sleep in order to prioritize it. One practice I offer my clients is to commit to two weeks of getting enough sleep, for most people that’s between 7 and 8 hours. Since many chronically sleep deprived people have lost touch with what it feels like to be rested, this exercise gives them a personal experience they want to continue. It should be noted that if once you increase your physical activity you feel too alert when you go to sleep, try exercising earlier in the day.
NO. 7: LOVE YOURSELF
One of the most under rated benefits of exercise is the boost it gives to our overall sense of self-esteem. Knowing we are taking the time and making the effort to care for ourselves, can help us to accept ourselves and to compare ourselves less. Fit people understand that their health is essential to everything they do. And since our bodies are the vehicles that carry us through life, it only makes sense to take the best care of ourselves possible. In addition, when we follow through on personal goals our own sense of integrity and self-trust is strengthened; character traits that are translated to other areas of our lives including our love relationships.
GET TURNED ON
The only fitness routine that works is going to be the one you do; and the best way to ensure you will integrate fitness into your life is to pick activities that turn you on! Sure, you may like the idea of hitting the gym bright and early before work, but maybe joining an afterwork bootcamp is more your style. Having said that, I once had a client that thought he didn’t like going to the gym until he found a 24-hr gym where he could go late at night when the gym was fairly quiet. He now works out regularly, and at 45 is looking and feeling better than he has in years.
To find your own unique style of working out ask yourself, do you want to be in a gym or work out outside? Do you want to work out alone or with a group? What time of day suits your schedule? Is there a physical activity such as yoga, martial arts or golf thats calling your attention? Everyone has a fitness style. (find yours.)
SHARE YOUR #HEALTHYSEXYLOVE
Once you get started living a healthy-sexy life share your experiences via social media using the hashtag #healthysexylove Whether it’s an image, thought, quote or article, sharing what inspires you to get fit in your life will keep you engaged and accountable to your own personal goals. Not only will you help to inspire others on their own healthy-sexy journey, but you’ll also be inspired by the choices others are making. So get clear, get inspired, and get sexy!