Sex for health: 10 very good reasons to do it more

In case you needed further enticement, you now owe it to your body to have more sex. We asked Vancouver-based sexpert Teesha Morgan to explain some of the health-related highlights of getting busy.

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1. Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke It’s a myth that having sex can lead to heart attack or stroke right in the middle of a particularly passionate moment. In fact, researchers have found that having sex twice or more a week can reduce the risk of fatal heart attack by up to 50 percent. Regular sex can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer. “Men really need to have as many orgasms as they can – even in their twenties – to reduce this risk,” says Morgan. (As if they needed convincing.)

2. Burn off calories Don’t be afraid to sweat! Morgan says 30 minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. “If you can do 42 half hour sessions, you can burn over 3,500 calories, which means the loss of about a pound,” she says. (So yes, you do get points for making the intensity last; no watching TV while you’re at it.) And sex can also help strengthen your core, improve flexibility, and tighten your tummy and butt – all excellent side effects of an already wonderful way to kill some time.

3. Boost your mood Sex releases endorphins and oxytocin, feel-good chemicals that relieve depression and anxiety, make you feel better overall, and bring you closer to your partner. And who’s not in a great mood when they’re feeling physically satisfied and snuggling under the sheets?

4. Improve your immune system According to research done by Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, having sex once or twice a week will decrease your risk of catching a cold or the flu by raising the body’s level of immunoglobin A, an immune-boosting antibody. Sex can also promote longevity. “Having an orgasm releases the hormone DHEA, which works as an antidepressant, promotes immunity, can repair tissue and even keep your skin looking healthy,” says Morgan.

5. Sleep better In addition to fatigue from the sheer physical exertion, it’s yet again that oxytocin released during sex rides to the rescue. “Sleep is linked to a host of benefits, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure,” says Morgan. Your body relaxes after you’ve had sex, which makes it easier to sleep – something you might have noticed if you’ve ever had a man in your bed who is snoring loudly before you get even back from the bathroom.

6. Tone your muscles In addition to offering a good overall workout, having sex helps to tone very particular muscles, such as pelvic muscles that support your bowels, uterus and bladder – and help to prevent any pee-related accidents. Plus, toning your Kegel muscles during sex can lead to more intense orgasms.

7. Improve body image Using your body for something pleasurable can help you to forget about all of the little details we agonize over when we look in the mirror. Plus, being with someone who finds us desirable – and this should always be a prerequisite, non? – is a great reminder that don’t need to be some vision of perfection in order to be close to someone and have a truly satisfying sex life.

8. Decrease stress Release your tension and kiss those spreadsheets goodbye by getting busy in the bedroom. (Or the kitchen. Whatever.) “Research has shown that people who have more sex feel more at ease and happier, and that they’ve learned to handle stress better,” says Morgan. “During orgasm, with that surge of oxytocin, that promotes connection between partners and tension relief.”

9. Reduce pain Not only can sex improve your long-term health, but it can also cure headaches, help fight PMS and minimize the effects of arthritis. The endorphins and corticosteroids produced act as an analgesic and provide pain relief.

10. Stay young Sex can raise a woman’s estrogen levels, which makes skin more supple and hair more lustrous. And prostaglandins, found in semen, can help delay aging and prevent wrinkles. Plus, have you ever taken a look in the mirror after a particularly something tussle under the sheets? That is the glow and flush of eternal youth.