Seven reasons why sex is good for your health

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
4 May 2012

Good for the heart

Not only is sex a way to feel close and express your love it’s also good for your heart in a physical way. As you’re getting active (hopefully) sex gets your heart rate up, which helps it stay in good shape. Men who have sex twice a week or more have been found to cut their risk of a fatal heart attack by half.

[Related story: The health benefits of being single]

Lose a few pounds

It’s exercise, albeit more fun than the average kind, so sex can help you drop a few pounds. Alright, it’s not as effective as the treadmill (which burns 400 calories in half an hour compared to sex’s 85) but as part of a healthy lifestyle it can really make a difference.

Stops you getting sick

Regular sex with your partner can help stave off colds and illnesses as it boosts your immune system. People who achieve the holy grail of two or more times a week have been found to have higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which protects you against minor illness and flu. However, those who had sex more often than that had lower levels of the antibody so don’t go overboard.

[Related: How to reduce your stress levels]

Soothes pain

Hormones produced when you have sex are a powerful pain reliever and have been shown to sooth menstrual and arthritic pain, among other things. The chemical at work is oxytocin, which also lowers blood pressure and can be beneficial if you get migraines.

Reduces the risk of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the UK, but researchers have found that men in their 20s lower their risk of developing it by a third by ejaculating five or more times a week. The correlation isn’t clear for older men but there’s no harm in trying…

Stress reliever

There’s a medical reason sex improves your mood – it causes your brain to produce feel good chemicals called endorphins that relieve stress.  It has also been shown to lower your blood pressure, which will help keep you calm in stressful situations.

Sends you to sleep

Afterwards of course! As sex floods your system with endorphins and oxytocin, it’s ideal to promote a relaxation and a deeper, more restful sleep.

Maybe tonight after all, dear?

Find more advice in our sexual health section.

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