Sex is an important factor in your life
Sex and sexuality are a part of life. Aside from reproduction, sex can be about intimacy and pleasure. Sexual activity, penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), or masturbation, can offer many surprising benefits to all facets of your life:
Sexual health is more than avoiding diseases and unplanned pregnancies. It’s also about recognizing that sex can be an important part of your life, according to the American Sexual Health Association.
How can sex benefit your body?
This study suggests that sex can be good cardiovascular exercise in younger men and women. Though sex isn’t enough exercise on its own, it can be considered light exercise.
Some of the benefits you can get from sex include:
- lowering blood pressure
- burning calories
- increasing heart health
- strengthening muscles
- reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension
- increasing libido
People with active sex lives tend to exercise more frequently and have better dietary habits than those who are less sexually active. Physical fitness may also improve sexual performance overall.
1. Helps Keep Your Immune System Humming
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD a sexual health expert.
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
- Eat right.
- Stay active.
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep up with your vaccinations.
- Use a condom if you don’t know both of your STD statuses.
2. Better sleep
Your body releases oxytocin, also called the “love” or “intimacy” hormone, and endorphins during an orgasm. The combination of these hormones can act as sedation.
Better sleep can contribute to:
- a stronger immune system
- a longer lifespan
- feeling more well-rested
- having more energy during the day
3. Lower Heart Attack Risk
Want a healthier heart? Have more sex. Sexual activity helps keep levels of hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, in check. When these hormones are out of balance, conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis may develop. When it comes to protecting heart health by having sex, more is better. One study in men showed that those who had sex at least 2 times a week were 50% less likely to die of heart disease than their less sexually active peers.
4. May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk
There are male-specific health benefits of sex, too. One study showed that men who had frequent ejaculations (defined as 21 times a month or more) were less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who had fewer ejaculations. It did not matter if the ejaculations occurred through intercourse, masturbation, or nocturnal emissions. Of course, there’s more to prostate cancer risk than frequency of ejaculations, but this was one interesting finding.
5. Lowers blood pressure
Research conducted by Michigan State University and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that sex in later years might reduce the risk of high blood pressure – at least for women.
Women in the study aged between 57 and 85 years who found sex pleasurable or satisfying were less likely to have hypertension. However, male study participants who had sex once per week or more were twice as likely to experience heart problems than men who were sexually inactive.
In another study published in Behavioral Medicine, researchers found that the act of hugging can help a person to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and can also affect your sex life. High blood pressure has an impact on blood flow throughout the body and can prevent enough blood flowing to the pelvis.
In men, high blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction and in women, high blood pressure can lower libido and reduce interest in sex. It is considered safe to have sex if you have high blood pressure. However, if you are concerned or are having problems in the bedroom, seek advice from your doctor.
6. Boosts brain power
Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that frequent sex may improve women’s memory. Results from a computerized word-memory task found that women who had penetrative sex had better memory recognition of abstract words.
The researchers note that at this stage, it is unclear whether sex improves memory or if better memory leads to more sex. However, they say that sex may improve memory by stimulating the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus – the region of the brain that is involved in learning and memory.
Another study, by the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that thinking about love or sex has different effects on our brains.
Thinking about love activates long-term perspective and global processing, which promotes creative thinking and interferes with analytical thinking. However, in contrast, thinking about sex triggers short-term perspective and local processing, which then promotes analytical thinking and interferes with creativity.
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