There of course are the obvious answers, but we wanted to dig a little deeper and find out why our bodies respond so well to sex on a consistent basis. Not that we needed any more reasons to have sex, but we wanted to understand the health benefits of sex.
Being conscious about your physical activity is obviously great for your overall health. You are a regular at the gym or have other activities that you work into your schedule to keep you fit. You can add sex to that list as well. Sex can burn between 75 and 150 calories per half-hour. Not bad when you consider other activities like yoga (114 calories per half-hour), dancing (129 calories per half-hour) and walking (153 calories per half-hour).
In addition to the calories you burn, sex can also help to keep your muscles lean. Through the process of sexual arousal and orgasm, of the many hormones released during the process, one of them is testosterone; helping to maintain bone density and keep our muscles lean.
Keeping Your Ticker Healthy
There is a silent killer that lurks among us know as heart disease. If you weren’t aware, heart disease is the number one killer of women so keeping our tickers healthy is obviously very important. Through regular exercise, eating healthy and keeping our bad cholesterol and sodium intake low are great ways to stay on top of our heart health. Similar to being physically active and in shape, having regular sex is also great for our hearts.
Having sex twice or more a week has been found to reduce the risk of fatal heart attacks by half. Again through arousal and having sex, it increases your heart rate and blood flow. The increased heart rate you experience during sex is similar to the benefits you get from a cardio workout.
Good-bye Stress, Hello Relaxation
The stress we are all under will wreak havoc on our health. Stress effects almost all avenues of our lives, none more than our sleep. The problem then gets compounded as we do not have the required rest to recharge and rejuvenate our bodies.
Sex not only helps to reduce stress it also helps us sleep. The profound relaxation occurring after an orgasm for a woman and ejaculation for a man may be one of the only times we let ourselves completely relax. Many studies have reported that couples sleep more deeply and wake more rested after having satisfying lovemaking.
Boost Your Immune System
With cold and flu season approaching, we all know the drill; wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you sneeze. While we agree that is great to keep ourselves healthy how about adding one additional way? Having biweekly sex sessions will kick our immune system into high gear.
Researchers at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA, found that having sex once or twice a week boosts the immune system. They found a 30 percent increase in immunoglobulin A (IgA) proteins in people who had sex once or twice a week, compared to those who didn’t have sex. IgA proteins act as antibodies, binding to pathogens when they first enter the body and summoning the immune system to destroy them.
Improved Mental Health
The quickest way to boost your mood, fight depression and beat anxiety? Patricia Tan, MD, a board-certified internist in Arizona and medical expert for JustAnswer.com, says the answer is simple: sex (in a loving, committed relationship, of course). “Psychologically, sex improves one’s mental health by building intimacy and reducing stress,” she says. “The stress reduction component lowers a person’s cortisol level, thereby reducing the chances of increased blood pressure, hyperglycemia and increased acidity in the abdomen.”
Melts Away Pain
Ah, the power of orgasm. As it turns out, enjoying the “Big O” also sends a shockwave of oxytocin, known as the love hormone, into your system. This sends an army of endorphins into your system, which can alleviate arthritis pain. Research has also shown sex can lessen the aches associated with menstrual cramps, while also helping to regulate a woman’s monthly cycle.
Control Thy Bladder
It may sound weird—the idea that sex can help you minimize incontinence—but it’s true, say experts. Sex therapists have long recommended that women do Kegel exercises (flexing the muscles in your pelvic floor) throughout the day, but also during sex. Why? Not only can the exercises help increase pleasure, they also strengthen the muscles associated with incontinence. You can do Kegels anywhere (including during intercourse), so don’t be shy! Gently flex and tighten your pelvic floor muscles in the same way you would to stop the flow of urine. Hold for three seconds, then release.
Look Years Younger
Could sex make you more beautiful? It sounds far-fetched, but Eric Braverman, MD, founder of PATH Medical Center in New York City, says having sex releases a key compound in the body that is good for all kinds of things—including improving your complexion. During sex, your body produces a hormone called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). “It can boost the immune system, give you healthier skin and even decrease depression,” he says.
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