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The Best and Worst Workout for Your Penis

As much as you genuinely enjoy working out, there's no denying that the promise of a better bod is what gets you through the gym doors each day.

And by "better," we mean one that will help you feel more confident in bed. But there's more to sex than vanity: You also want to please your partner and perform your best. Unfortunately, the same workouts that can help you get fit may cause your manhood to malfunction — running is a prime example, according to a new study.

Your T levels could take a major hit if you're spending too much time on the treadmill. Running 40 miles or more — or just under 6 miles a day — can drop levels of testosterone (a hormone that's crucial to sex drive and strong erections) by a whopping 17 percent, according to University of British Columbia findings. Though the researcher isn't certain why this happens, she hypothesizes that pounding too much pavement could disrupt communication between the brain and hormone-producing glands.

But that doesn't mean you should quit working out altogether. Men who maintain a consistent workout schedule have better erectile function than more sedentary guys, suggests a Journal of Sexual Medicine study. The researchers behind the report found that men who logged at least 18 weekly "MET" hours — a measure of the duration and intensity of a workout — reported having healthier penises than less active guys.

Eat This! Tip

Running for an hour at a 10-minute mile pace would give you a MET score of 10, and an hour of circuit training has a MET score of 8. Logging two half-hour runs and two half-hour weight training sessions weekly would put you right at the 18 MET mark — give it a shot!

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh