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1.Be a Routine-Breaker
There’s something to be said for relationship predictability. We have a comfort level in knowing that Friday is for movies, or that one of you will do the cooking and one of you will do the cleaning, or that both of you despise the Patriots.
But long-term couples should find ways to mix up the regular rhythm of their lives—with new outings, new restaurants, new couples to hang with. “The newer the activity, the greater the increase of the feel-good chemical dopamine,” which improves mood, says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Neuroloveology.Better mood? Better mood!
2.Say Yes to Yellowfin
One of your greatest dietary allies: Healthy fats, like ones found in fish and nuts. “They will help lower inflammation, blood pressure, and your lousy LDL cholesterol. When they change, they can help improve sexual function,” Roizen says. And for amazing dietary advice, here are 40 Heart Foods to Eat After 40.
3.Learn Sexonomics 101
Small gestures—invested early and often—earn compound interest. But you can’t cash in the stocks every day; you have to ride the wave of good and bad markets, but trust in the process that steady investments will build your relationship portfolio.
4.Take a Spin Class
Sexual function is controlled, in part, by the quality of blood flow to your organs. Vigorous cardiovascular exercise—think at least three or four times a week where your heart rate jumps up to the point that you’re breathing hard—will prime your pumps.
“Because blood flow is vital for sexual organs to function, whatever you can do to improve the health of your heart will improve your sex life,” says Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic. One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 2 hours of vigorous exercise a week improves sexual function.
5.Lift Weights Twice a Week
Resistance exercises not only will help change your body weight and shape (both of which will have a physical and psychological benefits), but it also increases your testosterone.
“Testosterone is the key hormone for both men and women for sex drive,” Roizen says. “Resistance exercise helps increase muscle mass, which improves testosterone.” No access to dumbbells? A routine of bodyweight exercises: pushups, squats, and lunges will work.
6.Talk Spreadsheets to Get Under Sheets
“Financial stress—the number 1 cause of problems in relationships—is related to lots of health problems, so when couples are having money issues, it usually means they’re also having trouble in the bedroom,” Roizen says. Especially for couples who have long-standing tension, it can be a complex process to clear up money stresses. But the first step: Schedule a financial meeting once a month between the two of you. Just the act of talking—even if you don’t always agree—gets things going in the right direction.