We all know sex can feel good, but did you know it can also be good for your health?
The physical and mental health benefits of sex have been studied in a surprising amount of detail by scientists in the sexuality field. Here are some of their key findings about how sex affects the body and mind!
Improves cardiovascular health
Though sex can’t replace your exercise regimen altogether, it is considered “light” cardiovascular exercise, and can burn calories, lower your blood pressure, strengthen your muscles, and improve your heart’s health. Cool!
Strengthens pelvic muscles
The thrusting, squeezing, and contracting that our genital muscles naturally tend to do during sex is similar to a set of Kegel exercises. When those muscles are toned and strong, you’re less likely to develop bladder control issues – not to mention, sex will be more pleasurable and orgasms will come more easily!
No doubt you’ve noticed the way that fantastic sex can make you immediately sleepy! That’s the result of oxytocin, a hormone released during and after orgasm. The “comedown” from a sex-induced endorphin rush can also contribute to post-sex sleepiness. Better sleep leads to lowered anxiety levels, a stronger immune system, and – of course – having more energy throughout the day.
Sex is known to temporarily alleviate pain for many people, whether they’re experiencing headaches, menstrual cramps, or even chronic pain disorders. The endorphins released when you experience sexual pleasure and touch can act as natural painkillers, similarly to how athletes are better able to get through difficult challenges when experiencing a “runner’s high.”
Strengthens immune system
Immunoglobulins are proteins in your immune system which function as antibodies, and one study found that having sex 1-2 times a week increases the presence of a particular immunoglobulin in your body. These proteins help your body get better at fighting off infections – though of course, you should still take other steps to keep your immune system strong, like eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and keeping up with your vaccinations.
Improves mental health and relationships
People who have sex regularly are proven to be more satisfied with their mental health, and tend to perceive their relationships as being higher-quality than those who don’t. This could have to do with the happy-making neurotransmitters like oxytocin that are released during sex.
What health benefits have you noticed in your own sex life?