The 4th Annual Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run will be held on Sunday, February 16th, 2014 at Tidelands Park in Coronado, California. This got me wondering about the less prominent values of running, especially as Valentine’s Day approaches. Running no doubt provides health values, of course, but relationships and sexual health in particular can benefit from running. Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.22.36 AM

A survey by Brooks Running of 1,000 adults 18 and older, who run at least once per week, found that 66 percent of runners believe they have more sex when they run as a couple. But wait, there’s more: almost 50 percent of those questioned said running more than six miles together left their hearts pounding even more in the bedroom.

James White, Ph.D., author of “The Best Sex of Your Life” (1997, Barricade Books), professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego and former director of the exercise physiology and human performance center, believes that runners have 15-20 percent more sex than non-runners.

Further, a Harvard study in 2003 found that men over 50 who run at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence, compared to those who do little or no exercise. This is likely because running improves vascular health, which is necessary for healthy sexual functioning. It may be a bit far fetched to call marathoners “sexual gods”—as Mike Fitch of Runner’s World South African edition has done—but there’s no doubt that running boosts libido and leads to an improved self-image. These boosts leave you feeling more desirable and ready to have more sex, and that results in a whole lot of positive wellbeing.

One Australian couple getting a great deal of attention recently, Janette Murray-Wakelon, 64 and Alan Murray, 68, must be having a ton of that unlimited energetic boost. They’ve run a marathon EVERY DAY in 2013 and set a new Guinness World Record for the most consecutive marathons, logging in 9,775.75 miles. You can follow them on their website, You have to wonder what they were doing that prevented them from running an even 9,776 miles?

So with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, hit the HIIT (high intensity interval training), do planks, crunches, leg raises, push ups, and if you are single and looking, contact your local running club, or to meet new people.

Maybe you are already a couple? Plan on a Valentine’s run in your community. It’s cheaper than marriage counseling, and it’s an inexpensive way to connect, communicate and celebrate each other. Perhaps most importantly, sweating it out with your sweetheart will add more sweet to your hearts.

Have fun and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”