Sex is fun, but is it good for you, too? Of course, it bonds you with your partner which is important in every relationship... and you get to orgasm, which, personally, I love doing. However, I wasn't sure about all the physical benefits of sex.
Is sex healthy? Would it clear up my skin? Is it better for me than Pilates? Can sex help my anxiety?
I had to know immediately. It was making me anxious. So I reached out to Dr. Martha Lee, Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching, to ask about some ways sex can make you physically healthier.
"Our sexuality and our expression of it is an integral part of who we are," Dr. Lee explains. "In Chinese medicine, sexual energy has long been associated with the basis of a person's emotional well being. Increasingly, more people are acknowledging that sex has an important role towards our sense of well-being as well as quality of life."
Here are some of the specific benefits of sex on your health, from preventing the flu to helping fight against heart disease.
1. Sex Helps Build Up Immunity
Apparently, you can f*ck the flu away. "Sex is an excellent aerobic exercise because it raises the heart beat and pumps oxygen around the body which improves the immune system, boosts circulation and keeps you lean. Not only that, some studies show that regular lovemaking boosts the production of antibodies in the body – your defense against disease," says. Dr. Lee. "These germ-busting chemicals help you to fight off illnesses and stay cold-free. Sex, or orgasms in particular, means you are less likely to get colds, flu, and stomach complaints."
So sex is good cardio and it can prevent you from sneezing. Um, yes please. But actually, it's even more than that. Dr. Lee continues, "A study by Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine reveals that breast cancer sufferers who experienced regular orgasms recovered faster than those who did not. This happens because orgasm boosts levels of T3 and T4 lymphocyte cells — a type of white blood cell that produces antibodies and is shown to fight infection by as much as twenty per cent." Isn't that incredible?
2. Sex Does Count As Exercise
If you don't feel like going to the gym, then having sex might do the trick for your daily dose of exercise. "Although sex is not the most efficient way to lose weight, it is probably one of the most fun ways to do so! You can burn between 100 and 250 calories an hour and also exercise the major muscle groups at the same time," explains Dr. Lee. "If you have moderately active sex twice a week, you burn an extra 5,000 calories a year. This is the equivalent of a slow 50 mile run."
5,000 calories a year just from sex? That sounds good, fun, and healthy to me.
3. Sex Helps Maintain Your Cardiovascular Health
If you're having heart trouble (physically, not emotionally), then surprisingly, sex can be good for your health.
Dr. Lee explains,
Sex raises your heart rate to around 130 beats a minute. This has roughly the same effect as climbing stairs for 15 to 20 seconds, or similar to a fast walk or slow jog. Think of how you will be unclogging arteries, lowering your risk of diabetics, and lengthening your life while having sex.
So sex not only burns calories, but it also adds years on to your life? Sex is the fountain of youth. I am currently in a sexual slump, and obviously, it is killing me slowly!
She continues, "Having sex at this level three times a week for at least 20 minutes will reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent. It will also lower your risk of ovarian, cervical, and bowel cancer, and reduce your risk of Type II diabetes."
4. Sex Can Lessen Pain
According to Dr. Lee, sex is also a natural pain killer. "Through sex, oxytocin is secreted in your body, which, in turn, causes the release of endorphins. Because of these natural opiates, sex can act as a powerful analgesic and elevate the pain threshold," she explains. "What this means is that your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms might improve after sex due to those higher oxytocin levels. So don't let that headache prevent you from having sex!"
So if you're suffering from menstrual cramps, then your period might actually be the best time for you to have sex. I'm sure your partner won't mind.
5. Sex Will Help Exercise Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Sex is pretty much like CrossFit for your vagina muscles.
"There is a saying, 'If you don't use it, you lose it,'" Dr. Lee says. "Besides doing pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegels, you are actually strengthening the area through penetrative sex. This can help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life."
So how does Lee say to do the famous Kegel work out?
To do Kegels, squeeze your butt as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine. That's right! Those are the muscles. You want to count to three, then release, and progressively increase the hold to 10 as your muscles get stronger.
Do these regularly, and your vagina will be strong as hell!
So if you're wondering if sex is actually good for you, the answer is an overwhelming yes. It can stave off the flu, help you burn calories, and even tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Why not go have some right now?
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