The health benefits of sex
We all know that sex feels incredible. But did you know that it’s also incredibly good for you? It’s true! An active sex life delivers these eight unexpected benefits.
1. Immune system boost
Research shows that sexually active people tend to get sick less often. Why? Because people who have a lot of sex have higher levels of certain antibodies that protect against germs and viruses. In fact, people who have sex twice or more a week had higher levels of antibodies compared to those who have sex less frequently.
2. Increased libido
Which came first: the chicken or the egg? In this case, having sex actually makes you want to have it more often. This is because being aroused makes sex feel better and helps you to crave it.
3. Lowered blood pressure
Numerous studies have found that sex, but not masturbation, lowered blood pressure significantly. Aim to have sex a few times a week to reap the benefits.
4. Great exercise
Though sex alone won’t replace an elliptical, it certainly counts for something. In fact, sex uses around five calories per minute, and it also increases your heart rate and engages various muscles. Be sure to clear your schedule to make room for sex on a regular basis. Like with any form of exercise, consistency will maximize the benefits.
5. Reduced risk of heart attack
Having lots of sex is good for your heart, and it also keeps your hormones in check. “Aerobic exercise is generally good for lowering blood pressure, and sex itself may deepen the effect in women,” Everyday Health reports. In fact, research shows that people who have sex at least twice a week reduce their risk of experiencing a heart attack by half.
6. Pain relief
Did you know that orgasms can block pain? Some studies have found that a good orgasm can more than double a woman’s tolerance for pain. So, instead of reaching for that ibuprofen, aim for an orgasm. Stimulation without orgasm can also reduce pain, including cramps, arthritic pain, and headaches.
7. Better sleep
After you climax, your body releases prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. Women’s Health reports that with sex, “estrogen levels also increase, which can enhance a woman’s REM cycle for a deeper sleep.”
8. Stress relief
In a nutshell, being close to your partner both physically and emotionally can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. This is because touching another person releases your body’s feel-good hormones, which boost your self-esteem as well.
A fun part of a healthy lifestyle
We’ve come a long way since the prudish, Victorian attitudes of yesteryear. With sexual liberation have come clear-eyed scientific insights into the power of the procreative act — beyond procreation, that is. With an attentive, consenting partner, you can weave an intimacy that will have you feeling wonderful in both the short and long term.