We all know it’s fun and feels great, but did you know just how good sex is for you too? Admittedly, the topic may be a bit provocative, but given its seemingly endless health benefits and with Valentine’s Day looming, I figured it wasn’t completely inappropriate. That is as long as I can keep my 14-year old from reading over my shoulder!
Stressed about a presentation at work? Are your kids driving you crazy? Then find some time to get it on because endorphins and oxytocin, hormones produced during sex, ”activate pleasure centers in the brain that create feelings of intimacy and relaxation and help stave off anxiety and depression,” says Laura Berman, Ph.D., at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. And for a little added incentive, Berman also found that you get an added dose of those pleasure hormones when you reach orgasm during sex. Just sayin’.
A Better Body
Sex counts as exercise! My research found estimates of calories burned during sex range anywhere from 50 and 250 calories per “session,” depending, of course, on the length and effort exerted. And the good news continues for all you gym rats; the American Journal of Cardiology reports that sexual activity provided “modest physical stress” comparable to exercise on a treadmill. In addition to providing some cardio, sex helps strengthen your muscles too. Sex works muscles in your back, arms, core, legs and butt! So that’s a great reason to skip boot camp and roll around in bed on Saturday morning!
We are in the throes of cold and flu season, but research suggests that regular sex can also help stave off those pesky sniffles. A study from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania concluded that people having sex one or two times a week had up to three times as much of the critical antibody, Immunoglobulin A, in their systems as those having little (less than once a week) or no sex at all. So, in addition to zinc and vitamin C, make sure to add some more romance to your day to help prevent you from having to take a sick day!
So go on…. get busy! Celebrate Valentine’s Day this year like your health depends on it!
Stacy Geant Hughes, Certified Pilates Instructor, Certified Pink Ribbon Program specializing in post breast cancer surgery rehabilitation, Owner of Core Value Pilates, LLC in Ridgewood, NJ , (201) 638-0245