8 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex! [Details]

Rucuss staffAugust 3, 2013

A good sex life can do more than make you feel closer to your partner.

Having sex regularly can actually make you physically healthier. Yes, sex is good for you mentally and physically. While sex will never equal a three-mile run or a Zumba class, the fact that you’re getting some sort of muscular workout is a benefit. Your arms, butt, legs and core muscles are getting a workout during sex.

Woman’s Day has put together a list of the top eight benefits of having sex, check them out below.

1. It May Make You Thinner Dread working out? Don’t break up with  your treadmill just yet. But if it’s late and you haven’t made it to the gym,  don’t forget that sex counts as exercise, too! “Sex burns between 75 and 150  calories per half-hour,” says Desmond Ebanks, MD, founder and medical director  of Alternity Healthcare in West Hartford, Connecticut. It’s comparable to other  physical activities, he says, like yoga (114 calories per half-hour), dancing  (129 calories per half-hour) or walking (153 calories per half-hour).

Bonus: Sex may also help your muscles stay lean in the process. “Sexual  arousal and orgasm releases the hormone testosterone, which, among other things,  is necessary to build and maintain bone and lean muscle tissue,” he adds.

2. It May Improve Your Heart Health You’re probably already aware  that heart disease is the number-one killer of women. Eating a healthy diet, and  keeping your cholesterol low and sodium in check are great ways to stay on top  of heart health, but so is having sex. “Sex is exercise that raises heart rate  and blood flow,” says Dr. Ebanks. “In a study published in the Journal of  Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that having sex twice  or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half.” While the study  results were focused on men, Dr. Ebanks suspects similar effects for women, too.

3. It Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep What do you do to  help you sleep? When chamomile tea and other remedies aren’t doing the job, sex  may help—especially if you’re having trouble sleeping due to anxiety or stress.  “People having frequent sex often report that they handle stress better,” notes  Dr. Ebanks. “The profound relaxation that typically follows orgasm for women and  ejaculation or orgasm for men may be one of the few times people actually allow  themselves to completely relax. Many indicate that they sleep more deeply and  restfully after satisfying lovemaking.”

4. It Can Boost Your Immune System With all the concerns about cold  and flu viruses, combating germs can sometimes feel like a full-time job.  Surprisingly, there may be something you can do in the bedroom to keep your  immune system strong, says Dr. Ebanks, who points to a study by researchers at  Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. “Individuals who have sex once or twice a  week show 30 percent higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which  is known to boost the immune system,” he says. So, make this your new  cold-and-flu season mantra: Wash your hands and make a bedroom date with your  sweetie—often!

5. It Can Improve Your 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.”

6. It Can Help Relieve Pain You might change “Not tonight, honey, I  have a headache” to “Yes, tonight, honey, I have a headache,” or so says Dr.  Ebanks, who believes there’s a real correlation between sex and pain management.  “Through sexual arousal and orgasm the hormone oxytocin is secreted in your  body, which in turn causes the release of endorphins,” he explains. “Because of  these natural opiates, sex acts as a powerful analgesic.”

7. It Can Help You with Bladder Control 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.

8. It May Give You Healthier Skin 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. So much for the $79 night cream!

Photo via Blog.Wealthymen.com and Certified-savage.com

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