If you’re in the mood for sex the last thing you’re probably considering is how good it is for your health. But as it turns out, scientists are discovering sexual activity offers a bounty of super health benefits, everything from boosting the immune system to helping us to lose weight. In fact, sex…
REDUCES STRESS: According to a study conducted in Scotland and reported in the journal “Biological Psychology,” blood pressure and stress are reduced after sex. The researchers studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. The researchers subjected them to stressful situations -- such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic -- and noted their blood pressure response to stress. Those who had intercourse most frequently had better responses to stress, including lower blood pressure.
BOOSTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM: Sex once or twice a week is linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA), which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had. Those in the "frequent" group -- once or twice a week -- had higher levels of IgA than those in the other groups who had less frequent or no sexual activity.
BURNS CALORIES: Thirty minutes of sex? You’ve just burned 85 calories or more. Thus, the more nookie you have, the less you’ll need to watch what you eat..
STRENGTHENS PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES: Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels) during sex not only increases pleasure but they also help you minimize the risk of incontinence later in your life.
HELPS YOU SLEEP: Who doesn’t want more of that? According to researchers the release of the hormone oxytocin during sex prompts relaxation throughout the body and promotes a deep, restful sleep.
Robin Westen is ThirdAge's medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her most recent book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V Is For Vagina."