By Carmelia Ray
#1: Sex is a great stress relief
A great benefit of regular sex is that it lowers blood pressure and overall stress. Hence the common joke that people with a negative attitude should just “get laid.” There is some truth in that. When engaged in true sexual activity, there are many sexual chemicals that play a role in the chemicals positive “side effects” of sex. The main players are dopamine, the reward hormone; prolactin, the hormone of satiation; oxytocin the “cuddle hormone” and levels of androgen receptors. All of these powerfully affect our desire for intimacy and our moods. They also impact our susceptibility to addictive activities and substances. So if you’re feeling stressed out, may I suggest you solve it by taking it to the bedroom? It’s a fun remedy, even if it’s temporary.
#2: Sex can burn some serious calories
If you are looking for a great alternative to jumping on the treadmill or hitting the gym to burn calories, you may want to trade workout time for “sexercise.” Having sex is a great alternative to increased cardiovascular health, better flexibility and muscle tone. There are varied studies about how many calories sex can actually burn. Depending on your sexual activity and rigorousness of sex you can burn anywhere from 200 to 700 calories in one session. The physical and psychological benefits go hand in hand. The average calorie burn is about 85 calories for half an hour. If you are more rambunctious you can double this number. This equates to losing about a pound after 21 hours. If you want to increase your overall calorie burn you can increase the intensity and length of your sessions.
#3: Sex helps you live longer
They say that an active sex life slows the aging process, and it has been proven that men who have regular sex will actually reduce the risk of heart attack. Now, any caring partner that knows sex lowers blood pressure and boosts cardio health should encourage frequent sex. Sex can reduce the risk of fatal heart attack, increase immunity and improve cardiovascular health. With all of these benefits combined, you will live longer than those who do not engage in regular sex. Studies have revealed that regular sex can extend one’s life span by up to eight years! I don’t know about you, but I’ll take more sex over a casket any day of the week.
#4: Sex improves self-esteem
Ever wonder why the men and women in those Viagra commercials are always smiling, whistling and skipping on their way to work? Sexual activity actually improves one’s self-esteem. A major reason why many people choose to have sex is to feel better about themselves. It’s a great side effect, especially when you need a little boost.
#5: Sex lowers your risk of cancer
It may relieve men to know that increased ejaculations will lower the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that guys in their twenties who “get off” five or more times a week reduce their risk of getting prostate cancer by a third. Older men with 21 or more ejaculations per month were linked to lower prostate cancer. A 1989 study in France found that women who had less sex or not at all had three times the risk of breast cancer compared to those that had sex more frequently.
#6. Sex boosts immunity
The antibody called immunoglobin A or “IgA” is increased with regular and frequent sex. It’s an antibody which fights off colds and other infections .” Kathleen Doheny reported, “Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA., took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had. Those in the “frequent” group — once or twice a week — had higher levels of IgA than those in the other three groups — who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.
#7. Sex improves sleep cycles
After orgasm, dopamine levels plummet and levels of prolactin rise which brings on the feelings of satisfaction and sleepiness. There’s a physical reason why you often feel like lying there after a great sexual romp in an almost comatose state (with a smile on your face may I add). The nice relaxed feeling you get after a great sexual experience is due to hormones and the natural chemical highs and lows of sexual activity.
#8. Sex improves intimacy
In the honeymoon phase of most relationships, we are highly bonded with our partners due to high oxytocin levels, commonly referred to as the “cuddle hormone.” The benefits of oxytocin include positive feelings, increased sexual receptivity, feeling calm, connected and bonded. Increased oxytocin levels also work a great anti-stress hormone. It is not surprising that couples who engage in regular sex are more connected and experience greater intimacy than those that may only have sex once or twice a month. Sex has endless benefits on the individual. If you’re lacking intimacy, get back into the bedroom.
#9: Sex reduces pain
During sexual activity, oxytocin rises, endorphins increase, and pain therefore declines. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, it is because of higher oxytocin levels. “When you have good sex, there’s a relaxation response and satiation response. You lie there and life is great,” says Dr. Goldstein; Director of sexual medicine at Alvardo Hospital in San Diego. Headache? What headache?
#10: Sex improves your heart health
According to researchers from England, older folks do NOT have to worry about sex causing stroke. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years. And the heart health benefits of sex don’t end there. Sex increases heart rate and blood pressure, as high as 125 beats per minute and up to 160 peak systolic rate; which is equivalent to walking up a flight or two of stairs. Many studies in men have shown that those who had sex at least twice a week had half the incidences of fatal heart attack than men who had sex only once a month. Guys, you can apparently significantly lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by engaging in sex two to three times a week. So put your visit to the heart doctor on hold, and visit the love doctor when it comes to sex and your health.
Carmelia Ray is a matchmaking expert and author from Toronto, Canada. She has been a professional matchmaker and dating coach for over 20 years.