In honor of National Women's Health week, we're feeling inspired to eat more greens and get outdoors. (Look outside — spring is in full bloom!) But for some of us, getting healthy isn't always a top priority. We make all kinds of excuses whether it's work or kids or seasonal allergies (although I feel you on that last one).
So in case you needed a little more motivation to get fit for the upcoming summer season, here are several scientifically-proven ways good health gives your love life a boost, regardless of your relationship status.
1. For Couples, Exercising Strengthens Your Relationship
It's great to have a running buddy (Being honest, without one, I wouldn't even make it off the couch). And study after study shows that the couple that sweats together, stays together. Research from Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology showed that couples who worked out together were more motivated to stay committed to the regimen and saw their relationship improve. Couples also reported more satisfaction in the bedroom. (All that sweating, and huffing and puffing must have served for some inspiration, right?) Who knew you could get the benefits of couples therapy on a treadmill?
2. Sweaty Is The New Sexy
At the gym on the elliptical, you might feel a little exposed, a little gross and a little uncomfortable at the feeling of eyes checking out your sweaty body ... but guess what? Sweat is nothing to sweat over if you're looking for someone new! A study from McKendree University found that people who played sports were seen as more attractive than those who did not. The secret ingredient? Scientists say a boost of adrenaline was the factor in attraction!
3. A Healthy Diet Makes You Sexier
Here's another reason to opt for the kale salad at lunchtime. In 2009, researchers at St Andrews University in Scotland determined that eating a healthy diet of fruits and veggies makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. In a survey of 100-plus men and women, both sexes agreed that a radiant, golden complexion that you only get from a plant-based diet was the most attractive look — and ultimately what gets you a date. More specifically, scientists say that the carotenoid pigment that gives you this sunny glow is also seen in colorful fish and birds to display their health to potential mates. This factor of sex appeal is seen in humans too. In other words, get at those greens, girl.
4. For The Ladies, A Clean Smile Will Catch Someone's Attention
Don't forget to brush those pearly whites! A survey from last year found that a bright, clean smile is most important thing men notice in a woman. To show just how much importance people place on dental hygiene, 73 percent of respondents said that their ideal partner would have a nice smile, while only 40 percent said they look for a nice body.
5. For The Men, Being Healthy Makes You Hot
Okay guys, we'll still love you if you have a little extra room for lovin' as it were, but you might want to check out this latest research. A 2012 study from the University of Abertay Dundee concluded that men with a strong immune system were seen as more attractive to women. The researchers identified "a link between testosterone, facial attractiveness, and the stress hormone cortisol." In other words, men with higher levels of testosterone had stronger immune systems and therefore, were pretty popular with the ladies.