8 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
Of course sex is healthy, but did you know that a good sex life can provide specific health benefits? We spoke to the experts to find out just how sex improves our health (not that you needed any convincing).
1. It May Make You Thinner
Dread working out? Don’t break up with your treadmill just yet. But if it’s late and you haven’t made it to the gym, don’t forget that sex counts as exercise, too! “Sex burns between 75 and 150 calories per half-hour,” says Desmond Ebanks, MD, founder and medical director of Alternity Healthcare in West Hartford, Connecticut. It’s comparable to other physical activities, he says, like yoga (114 calories per half-hour), dancing (129 calories per half-hour) or walking (153 calories per half-hour).
Bonus: Sex may also help your muscles stay lean in the process. “Sexual arousal and orgasm releases the hormone testosterone, which, among other things, is necessary to build and maintain bone and lean muscle tissue,” he adds.
2. It May Improve Your Heart Health
You’re probably already aware that heart disease is the number-one killer of women. Eating a healthy diet, and keeping your cholesterol low and sodium in check are great ways to stay on top of heart health, but so is having sex. “Sex is exercise that raises heart rate and blood flow,” says Dr. Ebanks. “In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half.” While the study results were focused on men, Dr. Ebanks suspects similar effects for women, too.
3. It Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep
What do you do to help you sleep? When chamomile tea and other remedies aren’t doing the job, sex may help—especially if you’re having trouble sleeping due to anxiety or stress. “People having frequent sex often report that they handle stress better,” notes Dr. Ebanks. “The profound relaxation that typically follows orgasm for...