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Why It’s Healthy To Have Sex

Written by S.O.

Posted on April 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm

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Sex holds a bit of a strange role in our society – people love it, but also feel embarrassed about it. It’s everywhere – in our advertising and entertainment, in comedy and drama alike, on the minds of people young and old – yet it’s still a taboo subject for many. For some it’s a game, for others it’s sacred… But one thing is for certain: sex is a major component of what it means to be human!

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Let’s look at sex in a different way, though. Instead of “dos and don’ts,” instead of an issue of morality, instead of even talking about relations (of any kind), let’s talk about this huge topic with one thing in mind: your health.

Physical Health

The number of benefits that sex provides for physical health is simply massive…

For starters, it’s physical activity! Just like the overall benefits of any other movement, be it casual or vigorous, you’re burning calories, you’re getting your heart rate up, boosting metabolism, etc.

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30 minutes of sexual activity burns 85 calories or more! Physical activity, of course, helps promote weight loss, as well as boosts “good cholesterol,” makes your body more flexible, and helps you have more energy.

As with other forms of physical activity, this “sexercise” is promoting cardiovascular health, boosting circulation, lowering your blood pressure, and helping you take in more oxygen to your cells.

Depending on the positions you try and the muscles you use, sex can even be fairly effective strength training!

The physical movement involved is only the tip of the iceberg, though. Sex specifically engages your pelvic muscles, which in turn reduces the likelihood of incontinence as you age, and can lead to more intense orgasms and increased sexual satisfaction.

Studies have shown that frequent sex also promotes the body’s production of immunoglobin A, an antigen that helps fights against the flu. In fact, overall immune response is shown to be much higher in those who engage in frequent sex.

Regular orgasms help regulate both testosterone and estrogen levels, which can play a role in preventing heart disease. Orgasms also help produce estrogen in both men and women, improving skin and hair health (and making people look more attractive).

For men, regular ejaculation reduces the risk of prostate cancer. For women, sexual stimulation can help reduce menstrual cramps, fight chronic back and leg pain, and reduce arthritis symptoms.

Those are a lot of reasons – just for your body’s sake – to have more sex, but that’s only part of the story!

Mental Health

Beyond the physical benefits that sex can provide, the positive impact on your mental and emotional health is just as noteworthy!

Before we even get into any of the chemical stuff, sex is just plain fun! It’s an enjoyable activity, and simply experiencing pleasure helps improve your overall outlook on life. In short, it feels good to feel good!

Photo by Tim Jordan

Chemically, these good feelings are the product of dopamine and endorphins being produced in your brain, and this helps alleviate anxiety and fight against depression. Sex also reduces stress by increasing your body’s levels of norepinephrine, which fights against “stress hormones” and helps you feel relaxed.

During sex, your body produces the hormone oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “cuddle hormone,” which plays a critical role in developing connection with others, building trust, and forming feelings of love. The emotional benefits here cannot be overstated – when you develop a connection with someone, it can play a massive role in boosting your self-esteem, confidence, and general feelings of happiness.

These mental and emotional benefits, namely reduced stress and anxiety, also play a role in promoting heart health.

After orgasm, the body produces the hormone prolactin, counteracting the effects of dopamine and transforming excitement and energy into satisfaction and relaxation. This means better, more restful sleep – which has its own huge set of health benefits!

Sexual activity, along with other physical activity, is shown to increase neural activity, promote stronger memory, and even counteract the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease! Researchers at the University of Amsterdam also found that sexual encounters may improve people’s ability to think critically and analyze their surroundings with greater efficiency.

As you can see, both physical and mental can be improved by sexual activity. The chemical benefits affect your brain and body chemistry alike – but all of that seems out of sight, out of mind. What we can and should focus on, however, is how those chemicals and exercised muscles make you feel.

You may not know (or care) which chemicals in your brain are helping your sleep – what matters is feeling well rested. You might not be aware of how chemistry affects self-confidence, but you’ll notice when you have a little extra bounce in your step. You may not even notice if your memory is sharper, but you will certainly reap the rewards.

The point is this: sex is built into our DNA, it’s a natural desire that most people experience and most people enjoy. It’s only fitting that the activity that propagates our species is fun, satisfying, and tied to benefits that help nearly every system in our bodies!

We don’t have to consider the health implications to enjoy sex, but when you bear them in mind, it gives you all the more reason to stay interested in sex, to make a point to connect with your partner, and to make a healthy sex life and important priority.

Sex is great, and great for you – so enjoy yourself and promote your health in the process!

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