In our guide to Sexual Health we explored how hormones like oxytocin get released during sexual activity and that sex makes for great exercise. However, the benefits of sex don’t stop there.
Here are 7 physical and physiological health benefits of sex:
Improved Heart Health
In a study conducted by the New England Research Institute, men who have sex at least twice a week decrease their risk of heart disease by 45%. It makes sense when you think about it. Having sex boosts your heart rate while also keeping your testosterone and estrogen levels in balance. When one of these hormones is low or when you’re not exercising, your risk of developing heart disease increases. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is also sometimes an early indicator of heart disease. If your penis is unable to get engorged with enough blood to have penetrative sex, your heart’s lack of optimal functioning could be why.
While in some cases the act of sex can be stressful itself, sexual intercourse works great for relieving stress and anxiety. Intimacy and touch release your body’s “happy hormones,” while sexual arousal revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system. During sex, you’re usually focused on the act itself than on whatever is causing you stress in the first place, making it a great distraction. Your stress levels tends to dissipate in the afterglow as well, allowing yourself to refocus and relax.
Improved Focus and Memory
The Archives of Sexual Behavior published a study conducted on heterosexual women aged 18-29 years revealed a link between sexual frequency and improved memory of abstract words. Remembering words largely depends on your hippocampus, and sexual activity promotes adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus, thus sharpening your memory. Another study links frequent sex with better memory performance in adults ages 50 and older, which can help circumvent a cognitive decline as you age.
With all of the talks about sexual transmitted infections out there, it’s hard to believe that sex improves your immunity. However, people who engage in sex more frequently have higher levels of defenses against germs, bacteria, viruses, and other unwelcome intruders. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be smart about your sexual activity. We still recommend practicing safe sex – especially if you don’t know your sexual partner(s) previous engagements. While you’re at it, you should also partake in other activities that boost your immunity. Exercise regularly and eat healthy, get an appropriate amount of sleep, take your vitamins, and keep up with your necessary vaccinations.
Lowered Blood Pressure
Relieving stress and tapping into your brain pleasure centers are two main benefits of sex. These benefits also lead to lowered blood pressure. A study in science direct reveals that blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penetrative intercourse than for those who haven’t. The study reveals that masturbation can also help, but that penetration is more effective.
Improved Bladder Control in Women
Urination incontinence, or your body’s inability to control when you pee, is a problem that impacts roughly 30% of women at some point during their lifetime. The severity ranges from having an occasional leak when you cough or sneeze to having the urge to pee so suddenly and so badly that you’re unable to make it into the bathroom in time. It’s an embarrassing problem, and something that happens more often than you’d think. When you’re having sex, your pelvic floor muscles are getting a workout. Strong pelvic floor muscles reduce your chances for incontinence. Even better – if/when you orgasm, it causes contractions in these muscles, further strengthening them.
Potential for Weight Loss
One of the most favored benefits of sex is its potential to make you skinnier and tighter. On average, we burn 200 calories during 30 minutes of sexual activity. The benefits don’t stop at physical activity, however. The rewarding brain chemical released during intercourse can sometimes also reduce your food cravings.
Benefits of Sex Bonus: Strengthened Bonds
Never underestimate the power of intimacy. Sex facilities pair bonding, which is a key factor in sustaining long-term romantic relationships. A study in Physiological Science reveals that the sexual afterglow keeps partners remaining pair-bonded between sexual acts. In data collected from two similar studies of newlywed couples, spouses reported their daily sexual activity and sexual satisfactions for 14 days and their overall satisfaction in their marriage 4 or 6 months later. Their sexual satisfaction remained elevated for around 48 hours after sex. Basically, regular intercourse keeps couples feeling closer. Other aspects of intimacy, such as long hugs and cuddles, also promote stronger bonds. To learn more about how maintaining a healthy sex life can improve your physical and physiological well-being, shoot us a message.