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30th June, 20205 min read

4 natural ways to improve your sexual stamina

Medical reviewer: Dr Ann Nainan
Author: Alex Bussey
Last reviewed: 19/03/2021
Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

‘Sexual stamina’ can mean many different things. People often say it to describe the length of time that it takes someone to reach orgasm.

But sexual stamina can also refer to physical fitness or the amount of time you can spend having sex before getting tired.

Some people also use the phrase ‘sexual stamina’ to talk about their ability to perform in bed or satisfy their partner.

How long should sex last?

Studies show that the average time taken for ejaculation to occur during intercourse is 5 and a half minutes, but every couple is different. Some people prefer to take their time, while others prefer it when sex is fast.

Your personal circumstances can also affect the duration of sexual activity. For example, busy parents may have sex when they have time, while a new couple may spend more time in bed together.

If you're wondering how to increase your sexual stamina, there are things you can try.

How can I improve my sexual stamina?

Exercise regularly

Recent studies show that regular exercise can protect against a number of sexual problems, and improve erectile function. Regular exercise can also improve your cardiovascular health, improving your overall stamina.

There is also some (limited) evidence to suggest that regular cardiovascular exercise can improve sexual function.

The American Heart Association and the UK’s National Health Service both recommend that you try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, but it’s up to you how you break this up.

You don’t have to go to the gym, either. Walking, running, cycling or dancing are all good forms of exercise. Less traditional ways of exercising, like pushing a lawnmower or hiking, also count.

But it’s important to do a little bit of strength training every week, which means you’ll need to do something like yoga, pilates or weightlifting to keep your muscles healthy.

Strength training can make you physically stronger. Muscle power can make doing your day-to-day activities easier.

Exercises that can help increase the power in your arms include bicep curls and tricep extensions. If you want to build up your upper-body strength, you could try push-ups. For more power in your core, exercises to try include sit-ups and planking.

Try some pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles that surround your bladder, bottom, vagina or penis. Experts think that pelvic floor exercises can improve sexual function and lead to more satisfying sex.

To exercise your pelvic floor, imagine that you’re desperate to pee, and contract the muscles that you would use to stop yourself. Hold for as many seconds as you can up to a maximum of 10 seconds, then release and let your muscles relax for 5 seconds.

You can repeat this movement as many times as you like, but it might be best to stick with 10-15 squeezes a day if you are just getting started. You can always add more as your stamina increases. Make sure you don’t overdo it and rest between squeezes.

Eat a healthy diet

While there’s no real evidence to support the idea that certain foods can make you last longer in bed, some studies suggest a balanced and healthy diet could improve your sexual function by helping you reduce your weight, or maintain a healthy weight.

A better-quality diet can also improve cardiovascular health, which again may help to improve your stamina.

Organisations like the American Heart Association recommend a diet that contains a lot of nutrient-rich foods, including a variety of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain products, low-fat dairy produce, nuts and legumes.

You should also try to avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar, salt or saturated fat.

Masturbate

Masturbating may help you to improve your sexual stamina by teaching you how to control your orgasms, if you experience premature ejaculation. Some people also find masturbation helps them to work out how to bring themselves to orgasm, which may lead to more enjoyable sex.

Can I take a herbal supplement to increase my stamina?

You may have heard that certain herbal extracts will help you to improve your sexual stamina or last longer in bed.

There are studies that have looked into the idea that some herbal extracts could help to improve sexual function, but there isn’t enough research to justify their use. It's worth noting that some herbal extracts could have potentially dangerous side effects.

Try to focus on the safe and healthy methods of increasing your sexual stamina outlined above, and remember that you can talk to a doctor or pharmacist about any concerns or if your symptoms persist.

Key points

  • ‘sexual stamina’ can mean many different things
  • studies show the average time taken for ejaculation during sex is 5 and a half minutes
  • regular exercise can improve your cardiovascular health, improving your overall stamina
  • experts think that pelvic floor exercises can improve sexual function
  • masturbating may help you to improve your sexual stamina
  • there isn’t enough research to justify the use of herbal supplements to improve sexual function
Quick Quiz
It takes an average of 9 minutes to ejaculate. True or false?

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How long should sex last? | ISSM [Internet]. ISSM. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

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Fergus K, Gaither T, Baradaran N, Cohen A, Breyer B. Exercise Improves Self-Reported Sexual Function Among Physically Active Adults [Internet]. jsm. 2019 [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids [Internet]. www.heart.org. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Exercise [Internet]. nhs.uk. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Pelvic floor exercises - NHS [Internet]. nhs.uk. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Pelvic Floor Muscle (Kegel) Exercises for Women to Improve Sexual Health [Internet]. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Your pelvic floor [Internet]. Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

La J, Roberts N, Yafi F. Diet and Men’s Sexual Health [Internet]. jsexmed.org. 2018 [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

The American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations [Internet]. www.heart.org. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Eat well [Internet]. nhs.uk. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Is masturbation normal? [Internet]. nhs.uk. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Masturbation [Internet]. betterhealth.vic.gov.au. [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Kotta S, Ansari S, Ali J. Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs [Internet]. pmc. 2013 [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Lim P. Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED [Internet]. pmc. 2017 [cited 1 July 2020]. Available here.

Chris Iliades M, Samuel Mackenzie P. The Benefits of Strength and Weight Training | Everyday Health [Internet]. EverydayHealth.com. 2021 [cited 23 March 2021]. Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/add-strength-training-to-your-workout.aspx

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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