With all that’s going on in the world, keeping our communities, families, and ourselves healthy is a top priority. With that comes implementing methods of improving your hygiene and strengthening your immune system. Along with handwashing for at least 20 seconds and socially distancing, you may want to add another health-boosting tactic to your to-do list: sex.
While you may look at sex as a great break from the chaos, there are so many more benefits it offers. It can provide much-needed stress relief and relaxation. Beyond that, sex can also yield a host of other health benefits. Here are seven of them:
Whether it’s driving to work or sitting at your desk, on any given day, you probably sit a lot. You may even be sitting while you’re reading this! Constant sitting can lead to a slew of problems, like higher blood pressure, excess body fat around your waist, and decreased circulation.
Sex can help counteract the negative effects of sitting. Arousal and orgasms get your heart pumping, which increases the blood flow throughout your body. Some experiments have even studied the unique impacts that orgasms have on women’s brains. One particular study showed how orgasms boosted blood flow to all parts in the female brain, bringing with them nutrients and oxygenation.
While sex can offer benefits to your blood stream, it’s not a perfect substitute for getting up and walking. So, be sure to also schedule in those breaks every half hour, so you can get up and stretch your legs.
Want to give your immune system an extra boost? Consider giving a natural lift to your immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels. IgA is an antibody that’s found in certain areas of your body, such as your digestive tract, breathing passages, and nose. Your body makes this and other types of antibodies to help fight off illnesses, such as the cold and flu.
What does this have to do with sex? Studies have shown that IgA levels are influenced by sex, and those who have sex a couple of times a week tend to have higher levels of IgA compared to those who only have sex once a week.
So, in addition to bumping up your vitamin C, consider adding in some extra bedroom time to your immune-boosting regimen.
Sex does more than make you feel good in the moment. It can also bring relief to certain types of pain. When the body is aroused and experiences orgasms, the hypothalamus releases oxytocin, the “feel-good hormone,” into the body. This lowers stress and increases calmness. It also has the potential to reduce pain levels. Here are three types of pain it can reduce:
Oxytocin does more than bring relief to the pain itself. Because this hormone is associated with feelings of calm, it can also relieve the depression and anxiety that’s related to pain.
While stress is a normal part of everyday life, the body wasn’t designed to sustain constant levels of high stress. When this happens, the prolonged elevated levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” can increase your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
This is where we see another key benefit of oxytocin: it calms your nerves down. Studies have shown how oxytocin can generate anti-stress effects, such as lowered blood pressure and decreased cortisol levels.
If this makes you wonder if sex is good for the heart, you aren’t alone. And with the exception of rare cases, the answer is “probably yes.” One study found that men who had sex at least twice a week had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to those who only had sex once a month (or less).
While sex won’t necessarily prevent heart disease, these studies do suggest that sex is part of an “overall heart-healthy lifestyle.”
It’s no secret that sex gets your blood flowing and heart pumping. Because of that, you burn calories – but only about the same amount as walking a mile in 20 minutes. So, while sex won’t replace your cardio session at the gym, it’ll burn more calories than binging Netflix on your couch.
If you want to burn a few extra calories, try extending your sexual activity or making it steamier. The more you work up a sweat, the more your heart works, which will lead to burning more calories.
Have you ever noticed that after sex, you’re able to relax and drift off into a sweet slumber much easier? If so, you have your orgasm to thank.
When you have an orgasm, there are two main hormones that get released – oxytocin and prolactin. While prolactin is most commonly known for helping women produce milk following childbirth, both men and women do produce prolactin and experience higher levels following orgasm. Both oxytocin and prolactin have strong links to calming the nerves and promoting sleepiness.
Sex does more than just benefit your physical body. It can also enhance your overall wellbeing as well as your ability to think and perceive. Here are some of the crucial emotional and psychological benefits that sexual activity can provide:
These potential benefits are a powerful reminder that intimacy and wellbeing are closely related and can impact one another.
For many, sex is an important part of life and wellbeing. While it isn’t the only indicator of a person’s health or happiness, there are certain physical and emotional benefits of having sex. And as your body changes over time, it’s important to make sure your sexual health stays in excellent shape.If you’re looking to optimize your sexual health, contact us online today. We’re here to help you live your healthiest, most satisfying life!