London - Women who are regulars at the gym tend to have trimmer figures and healthier glows. They also have more sexual partners, researchers have revealed.
Keeping fit and exercising at least once a week is the biggest predictor as to how many sexual partners a woman will have in her life, a study of 7 000 people found.
Those who vigorously exercise at least once a week are 73 percent more likely than inactive women to have at least ten intimate partners. Experts believe this is because sport increases social interaction and boosts self-esteem. But they found exercising makes little difference to men’s love lives – for whom income has a bigger impact.
The findings, published in the BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health journal, found men tend to sleep with more different people in their life than women – with 20 percent having at least ten sexual partners, compared to 8.5 percent of women.
Researchers said this is likely because of men’s higher testosterone levels and societal "double standards" towards women’s sexual behaviour. Researcher Dr Lee Smith, of Anglia Ruskin University, said: "Increased social interaction provides a setting and opportunity to engage in a greater number of sexual partners.
"We know that participation in physical activity increases self-esteem and it is possible that self-esteem is linked to increased confidence in engaging in sexual activity with new partners."
The research team also found that bisexual women were nearly six times more likely than heterosexual women to have ten sexual partners, and gay men were 11 times more likely than straight men to have more than ten.Daily Mail