Sexual intimacy for the most part is enjoyable, feels good, and is fun. But did you know that that there are other benefits of jumping into the sack with your partner? This article will take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological.
Sex Is a Stress Buster
A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction. Studies have show that those men and women who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.
It’s Blood Pressure Lowering Event
Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke. Frequent intercourse is associated with lower diastolic blood pressure (the lower, or second, number in a blood pressure reading). Even partner hugs have the effect of lowering blood pressure in women.
An Immune Booster
Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections.
Men and women who have intercourse once or twice a week had higher levels of IgA than those who reported being abstinent or having sex less than once a week.
It’s An Aerobic Exercise
The benefits of sex as a form of exercise are many – sex can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, and balance, not to mention your emotional health. People who get regular exercise tend to sleep better and have more restful sleep
It Burns Calories
Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. The number of calories burned during sex is about the same as the number burned by walking at 2 miles per hour. Doubling up on the 30 minute sessions, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.
Sex Is Heart Healthy
While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that’s not so. Let the truth be told that frequency of sex is not associated with stroke.
If you can walk up two flights of stairs without shortness of breath or chest pain, you can safely indulge in sexual intimacy without risking injury to your heart.
Fact: having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month. However, it is important to have sex with your regular partner as a sexual tryst outside of your regular relationship does place you at risk for a unhealthy heart event. Just ask Happy Rockerfeller!
It’s an Ego Booster
One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves. Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it.
Sex Strengthens Your Well-Being
Sex, like any activity that fosters a close and loving connection to your partner, not only raises self-esteem, but strengthens your overall sense of well-being. Studies have shown that people with strong social support networks (which includes lovers) are healthier and happier than their less-connected peers. That’s why happily married men live longer than men who are divorced.
Sex Improves Intimacy
Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. A study of premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.
Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you’re feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.
Sex Reduces Pain
As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. Endorphins are natural pain relievers and are even more potent than morphine. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels. And if you have a headache, don’t use it as an excuse to avoid intimacy, use it as a reason to engage in intercourse.
It’s Prostate Healthy
Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life. But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.
Also the Journal of the American Medical Association found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations.
Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles
For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegel exercises during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you’ll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.
To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to ten, then release. Do the exercises 8-10 times a day.
Additional Benefits of Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises have a number of proven health benefits in addition to making sex more enjoyable. The strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles can help prevent prolapse (a slipping out of position) of the vagina, uterus, and bladder. Pelvic floor muscles may be weakened later in life as a result of childbearing, being overweight, and aging. Kegel exercises help offset the consequences of weakened pelvic floor muscles.
It’s a Sedative
The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research. And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you’ve been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.
Bottom Line: Not because it is Valentines Day is it good to have intimacy and bonding with your partner. It’s good for your health. If you are looking for reasons to have sex, tell them Dr. Baum recommended it!
Modified from article on WebMD by Kathleen Doheny