Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

The Health Benefits of Sex

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Health and Wellbeing / Wellbeing /

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Sex can do a lot to lift your mood, but did you know there are a surprising number of health benefits of sex too? The level of physical activity involved can have a number of positive effects on your body, giving a little boost to your general health and wellbeing.

It Counts As Exercise
While sex won’t have quite the same impact on the body as time spent at the gym, it does count as exercise. Sex raises your heartbeat, uses a number of muscles and typically burns around five calories per minute.

It’s Good for the Immune System
Research has shown that sexually active people tend to get ill less often. A study at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania revealed that participants who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of certain antibodies than those who had sex less often.

It Lowers Blood Pressure
Similarly, studies have found a link between sexual activity and blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Paisley in Scotland found that sex lowers systolic blood pressure – the pressure created when blood is pumped through the arteries.

It Lowers Heart Attack Risk
Sex raises your heart rate and keeps oestrogen and testosterone levels in balance. If levels of either of these hormones gets too low this can cause heart problems. By keeping them in balance, sexual activity helps to maintain your heart health.

It Reduces Stress
Having sex can have a real positive impact on your stress levels. A study in California showed that regular intercourse can lead to cell growth in the hippocampus – the part of the brain that keeps stress levels under control.

It Eases Pain
Research published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine found that an orgasm can half the body’s sensitivity to pain, including back pain and migraines. It does this by releasing endorphins – the body’s own natural painkillers.

It Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for adequate bladder control, and sex can help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Orgasms cause contractions in those muscles, giving them the equivalent of a workout! Stronger pelvic floor muscles will significantly reduce your chances of incontinence.

It Improves Sleep
Sex is a good way to wind down as bedtime approaches. After an orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which causes feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, encouraging a good night’s sleep.

Growing scientific evidence makes it clear that sex is good for more than just your relationship, showing that you can get healthy and have fun at the same time! While it’s no replacement for other forms of exercise, it’s certainly an enjoyable and beneficial addition to a generally healthy lifestyle.

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Posted by The Best of Health

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