In honor of National Women's Health week, we're honoring all the ways we ladies take care of ourselves, from our active dates to our healthy food choices. And one crucial component to our well-being? Regular exercise. Did you know it's the number one risk factor for heart disease in women over 30? That's above smoking and obesity.
So today, we're celebrating the ladies, of all shapes and sizes, who sweat it out. Because aside from bettering their bodies and minds, they're great catches. Total girlfriend material. Gentleman, this is where you come in. It's time to ditch the back of the bar and head to the cardio section for the woman of your dreams.
Grab your towel and your best pick-up line, here's why going for an active lady may be the healthiest choice for your love life yet.
1. They're Sexy, Says Science
OK, so one obvious perk of her gym membership is that hot bod that comes with it and maybe those see-through Luluemon yoga pants, if you're lucky. And while her toned tush is great and all, there's more to it. A study from McKendree University found that people who played sports were seen as more attractive than those who didn't. Why? A boost of adrenaline is a factor in attraction. She's hot (and probably sweaty), guys. You can't argue with science.
2. They're Focused On You
Whether you're telling her your about your miserable day at work or you're getting busy in the bedroom, you can be assured she has your undivided attention. For one, her yoga class comes with plenty of stress-relief benefits. And, according to Lori Brotto, Ph.D., director of the Sexual Health Laboratory at the University of British Columbia in Canada., staying fit helps connect her mind to her body, as well as relaxes her brain. Speaking of which ...
3. They're Relaxed
You've got a calm, cool and collected girl on your hands. Not only is she focused but she won't sweat the small stuff. Researchers at the University of Georgia Department of Exercise found that working out is three times more effective at reducing anxiety than resting.
4. You'll Have A Stronger Relationship
If you don't already work out, chances are you'll have a very difficult time not excercising if you're dating a fit chick. A run together is good for your body but it's actually beneficial to your relationship, too. Research from the Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology found that couples who sweat together were more inspired to complete their fitness goals and they even saw a boost in the quality of their relationship. The the perks were even noted in the bedroom, too. Your morning jog might just be the secret to a successful relationship.
5. They Get More Aroused
Not only is she probably feeling (and looking) hot, but her kickboxing class is allowing her to have better sex. University of Texas at Austin researchers discovered that ladies were 169 percent more aroused while watching porn after 20 minutes of intense cycling. Plus, with all that boosted endurance she gets from Zumba, you're for a treat. Did we mention sex torches about 100 calories per session? So, she's already in her element here.
6. They Have A Stronger Libido
If you thought it couldn't get any better, hold on tight, we're only on #6. Not only does she get more sexually excited, but her sex drive is pretty high, too. With every weight room sesh, her body is producing high levels of testosterone — which is boosting her libido, according Women's Health. A gal with a revved up sex drive? Cha-Ching.
7. They're Confident
Self-confidence is sexy — and who doesn't want a GF that feels sexy all the time? That rush of endorphins she feels after her workout is acting as a major self-esteem boost, making her aware of just how awesome she is, whether she's a size 2 or 14. And, according to a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, confidence may be more important romantically than physical attractiveness.
8. They're Happy
In addition to it's stress-relieving and confidence-boosting abilities, the endorphins stimulated by physical activitiy are creating feelings of happiness and euphoria. It doesn't end there. Research from Duke University shows working out is as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. You've heard of a runner's high? Well, that's real. If she's a yogi, well then, she's in luck too. According to a study from Boston University School of Medicine and McLean Hospital those asanas help raise levels of GABA, a chemical in the brain, by 27 percent — low levels of GABA are associated with depression. Even a walk can improve happiness. Who doesn't want a partner who's always in a good mood?
9. They're Sharp
Her heart-pumping gym sesh is making her sweat — and kick your butt at Scrabble. According to Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, post workout, people learn new vocabulary words 20 percent faster. Even a three-month exercise routine boosts memory and learning by 30 percent. A study out of Brain Injury Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that an intense workouts increase levels of a brain-derived protein in the body that helps with decision making, higher thinking and learning. Hands down, you're going to want her on your team on trivia night.
10. They Get Stuff Done
You definitely don't have a couch potato on your hands, fellas. Your health nut is a go-getter and her productivity can be an inspiration to finish up your projects or start that music blog you've always dreamed of. Research shows that people who workout on the reg are more productive and have more energy than their peers. Smart, energetic and accomplished? Now that's hot.
11. They're Creative
Your woman is anything but boring. Working out significantly increases cognitive flexibility. A Dutch study found that all it takes is a a quick workout session to see the boosted creativity. What does that mean for you? You're in for exciting dates, good times in the bedroom and one-of-a-kind birthday cards. It just keeps getting better.
12. They'll Trust You
Since your first relationship in middle school, you've known how important trust is in a relationship. Without it, you're in for a bumpy ride. But if you're dating a girl who's in shape — you're in luck. A Finnish study revealed that those who exercise at least two to three times a week not only experience significantly less depression, anger, stress, but they also have much less "cynical distrust" than their sedentary peers.
13. They'll Motivate You
Not only is her happiness and productivity contagious — her workout routine is too. She'll inspire you to hit the gym and stay focused on reaching your goals, which means say hello to boosted self-confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills. Having a buddy at spin class or on a long run is much more enjoyable, and like we mentioned earlier, it contributes to a strong relationship. The couple that sweats together, stays together.
Have anything to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.