The Health Benefits of Sex
The term sex conjures up many images, but seldom is this basic human act discussed in terms of health and fitness. Sex is often discussed in the news as something lurid or a dangerous activity that people must take precautions for or abstain from. Of course, there are many aspects of this human activity, but it’s important to understand the physical positive that sex brings to your body.
The most basic and, perhaps, the most obvious benefit of sex is the exercise factor. Burning calories in bed is a great way to shed pounds. Thirty minutes of sex can help you burn more than eighty calories. An extremely vigorous session might even allow you to burn up two hundred calories. It takes 3,500 burnt calories to shed one pound, but those eighty minutes sessions add up. And, the exercise component of sex is good for your cardiovascular health too. Some scientific research suggests that men who have sex two times of more during the week can cut their risk of a deadly heart attack in half.
Got a headache? Having a headache is no excuse to refrain from sex. In fact, a bout of sex can actually cure headache pain or relieve the stress causing your headache. It has been reported in medical journals that sex does relieve stress and can lower blood pressure. Sex is also a natural way to reduce pain. During sex, the hormone oxytocin spikes and pain levels drop. Don’t be surprised if you’ve forgotten all about that headache pain after a bout of sex.
A surge of oxytocin is also a great benefit for people suffering from insomnia. The higher oxytocin level in the body is associated with good sleep. Getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is necessary to maintain optimum health. Sex is, therefore, linked to regular sleep patterns. The relaxation element after sex is a natural way for typically highly motivated people to calm down after a long day.
A healthy sex life is also linked to a healthier immune system. Doing it only once or twice a week can actually help you ward off infections like the common cold by boosting your body’s levels of antibodies. These findings have been backed by medical studies and are great news for people who enjoy sex.
Regular ejaculation has been linked to a reduced instance of prostate cancer in men. This is an important benefit of sex that is supported by the scientific community. As the body makes semen, it concentrates levels of zinc, potassium, and citric acid and ejects them from the body. If cancer cells are present, they, as well, are concentrated and released from the body. Consequently, regular ejaculation of semen can be a way of ridding the male’s body of some unwanted elements.
In some scenarios this would be a controversial behavior, but having sex without a condom has actually been linked to depression reduction in women. A crazy benefit it may be, but a study in 2002 suggested that a hormone within semen is absorbed by the female and acts as a modulating or regulating substance. Sex without condoms has been shown to help keep a woman’s hormones balanced and her depression in check. Because of the increased risks of having sex without a condom for many, this benefit is generally left unsaid, but the benefit remains and those who are able to forgo the condom may see happy results.
Of course, a healthy sex life can lead to a feeling self-confidence and happiness for both men and women. Feeling good emotionally can lead to greater health benefits. A poor sex life or no sex life can trigger depression or contribute to a person’s negative sense of self. A fulfilling sex life can play a key role in the good health of a steady relationship and the mutual good feeling can help sustain the other health benefits of sex.
Another weird health benefit of an overtly sexual act can improve your smile. That is, teeth have been shown to benefit from semen. Minerals, zinc, and calcium within semen can reduce tooth decay. A healthy set of teeth is just one more benefit that intimacy can safeguard.
And finally, it might not seem like much, but sex can even benefit a person’s sense of smell. Sex causes prolactin levels to rise in the body. Prolactin is a hormone. This surge is associated with increased stem cell development in the brain. The newly created neurons benefit the brain’s olfactory center making you a better sniffer.
Regular intimacy—cuddling, hugging, touching—along with intercourse can promote mutual healing and provide many health benefits. The fact that intimacy feels good is good for your health. Science has demonstrated that the sense of touch is important to maintain good health. Of course, it is important to take precautions—dangerous sexually-related infections and disease can cancel out the great health benefits of sex. But, as humans are sexual creatures, it should be no surprise that sex (after all risk factors are protected against) is really good for you.