How much sex is considered exercise?

When I think of the ultimate sex workout, I picture the scene from “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie throw each other around their kitchen for an hour. Unfortunately, not every sexual experience is quite that… well, high-intensity. But how many calories do we really burn in the act?

The rumor: A bout of sexual activity can burn between 100 and 300 calories

We hear all the time that sex is a great workout, but what are the hard facts? How much sex is considered exercise? On a scale from fast asleep to Brangelina, where does the average sexual encounter lie on the calorie-burning scale?

The verdict: Sex burns a few calories, but frequent friskiness isn’t going to replace the gym

You may not be getting quite as good of a workout between the sheets as you think. According to a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, sex lasts six minutes on average and only burns about 21 calories.

As an exercise physiologist and someone who even finds ways to burn calories while driving and working on my computer, I found this to be a very disappointing statistic. According to WebMD, 30 minutes of sex can burn in the neighborhood of 85 to 100 calories; if you feel like you have a pretty vigorous sex life, you’re probably on the higher end of that statistic.

Full story of burning calories during sex at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.