Getting it on can reduce stress, strengthen your heart and boost your immune system.
Sex is probably the one thing that few people struggle to find motivation for. It’s certainly not exercise, which we all know is good for us but can be hard for some to pull off every day. It’s more like chocolate or sunshine. More is usually better. But the fact that getting busy is fun may obscure the fact that it actually has tremendous health benefits.
Sexual healing. It’s not just a song. Here are five reasons getting it on is good for your health:
1. Joy of sex
You didn’t need scientists to tell you that sex makes you happy, I’m guessing. Still it’s worth noting that researchers long ago established a link between having sex and feeling tickled pink with yourself and the world. As the New York Times points out, in a study of 1,000 women, the participants ranked sex as No.1 of all the activities that made them the happiest. Scouring data from 16,000 American adults on money, sex and their happy place also led economists to conclude in a 2004 study that having sex once a week instead of once a month was roughly the same as having an extra $50,000 in the bank. Ka-ching.
2. Sex banishes stress
As CNN notes, the act of having sex floods your brain with gobs of feel-good chemicals that naturally cut the stress hormone cortisol, which can wreak havoc on body and soul.
3. Immunity boost
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Researchers at Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University asked college students how often they had sex each week and then examined the levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that functions as the body’s first line of defense, reported CNN. Those who had sex once or twice a week had the highest levels of immunoglobulin A, 30 percent higher than those who had no sex. Also, those in longer-term, satisfying relationships had the highest levels of the antibody.
4. Brain defense
Using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, British researchers found that sexually active men between the ages of 50 and 89 had better cognitive function, even after adjusting for quality of life, loneliness, depression and physical activity, noted CNN. Women had the same benefit from sex in terms of memory. The more sexually active, the better the test results. In a follow-up study, cited by CNN, researchers found that having sex at least once a week was highly predictive of improved cognitive functioning.
5. Good for your heart
We don’t just mean that you may feel a greater emotional connection to your partner. We mean that if you work up a sweat between the sheets, sex counts as cardio, which is great for your ticker. As Prevention puts it: researchers determined that sex is a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise that burns around 3 calories per minute in women. So, sex can help strengthen your heart, lower your blood pressure and cut your risk of type 2 diabetes.