Today’s topic is Lifestyle. On Mondays we delve into the little things; changes that you can make, or activities that you can implement to your routine that can improve your quality of life! Today’s subject is the benefit of a healthy sex life.
Ah, the good old dirty deed – the horizontal mambo – an afternoon delight, so many euphemisms, and for what? We all know what they’re talking about: sex! For many, sex is about reproduction, gratification, pleasure, and intimacy. I mean, they call it a home run for nothing; sex can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Whether you’re coupled up or flying solo, practicing safe and regular sex yields a variety of benefits.
Here at Valhalla Vitality, we believe that wellness is a multifaceted concept encompassing physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. Not only is sexual health impacted by the aforementioned aspects of wellness, but it also can improve them, making it equally as important as any other lifestyle factor.
So, here are 10 benefits of maintaining a healthy sex life!
1) It’s a form of exercise!
According to the American Heart Association, sexual activity can be classified as a form of moderate exercise – burning around 150 calories an hour. Of course, this depends on the length of time and level of intensity but is still a fun way to burn some extra calories. Some studies have even concluded that the level of intensity exerted from sexual activity could be higher than that of walking at 4.8 km/hour, aka how fast I walk on the treadmill at the gym (laughs in sex-deprived). Sex also involves the use of various muscle groups, most notably the pelvic floor. Strong pelvic floor muscles are important for avoiding incontinence, which many people (primarily women) suffer from with age.
2) Improved heart health!
Studies published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex twice weekly or more had less risk of cardiovascular diseases, like stroke or heart attack than those who had sex once a month or less. Given that sex is a form of exercise, it can lower blood pressure and improve aerobic capacity, leaving your heart at a lower risk for life-threatening disease. For those who worry that the exertion involved in sex is a threat to the heart, the American Heart Association’s Scientific Statement on Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease say that sex is safe for people who can exercise with no problems in the range of 3-5 metabolic equivalents (METs).
3) Improved Sleep!
According to the National Sleep Foundation, orgasms release the hormone prolactin, which can help you feel sleepy and relaxed. So, don’t be too surprised if you and your partner doze off shortly after a satisfying session … and wake up feeling refreshed! This connection also works in reverse: getting adequate amounts of sleep can improve libido and sexual function. All in all, there seems to be an interesting relationship between sexual activity and sleep, so make sure you get enough of both to reap the maximal benefit!
4) Improved Immune Health!
Research has shown people who have frequent sex, defined as one to two times per week, had higher levels of immunoglobin A (IgA) in their system than those who did not. IgA is an antibody that plays a crucial role in the immune function of mucous membranes—the body’s first line of defense against disease!
5) Lower Stress Levels!
Sex can help relieve stress by raising endorphins and other hormones that boost mood (dopamine and oxytocin). Intimacy has also been shown to lower cortisol levels in both men and women. Cortisol is an agitator that increases heart rate and blood pressure, and is often referred to as the “stress hormone”.
6) Reduced Risk of Prostate Cancer!
According to a study published in the journal European Urology, men who ejaculate more than 21 times per month (compared with those who do so 4-7 times per month) were 20% less likely to develop prostate cancer. Similarly, The Journal of American Medical Association published a report finding men who had more than 20 ejaculations/month to be 33% less likely to develop prostate cancer. These measured ejaculations included sexual intercourse, nocturnal emissions, and masturbation. Overall, there seems to be an observed connection between the frequency of ejaculation and a lowered risk of prostate cancer.
7) Reduced Pain!
Just looking at your partner – or even a photo of your partner – can elicit a response that reduces pain reception. The same occurs during sexual intercourse, when the body releases oxytocin. This hormone possesses pain-relieving properties, which is why good sex can ward off headaches, muscle soreness, and even menstrual cramps (in women)!
8) Improved Feelings of Intimacy!
For many people, emotional intimacy plays a significant role in maintaining sexual desire in romantic relationships. As previously stated, your body releases oxytocin during sex. Oxytocin activates feelings of trust and affection between people, earning it the title: “the loved hormone”. This lets you connect with your partner on a deeper level, as sex can predict affection, and affection, in turn, can predict the frequency of sexual activity. A report published in the Journal Psychological Science found that newlywed couples that had frequent sexual intercourse experienced higher levels of relationship satisfaction and intimacy.
9) Improved Mood!
Let’s be honest; having sex with your partner generally leaves you feeling loved, desired and all in all, happier. There are, however, biochemical rationales for experiencing improved mood as a benefit from sex; from the neurotransmitters that are released during the act, to the mood enhancers contained in semen itself, there is a lot to be said about the mood-boosting effects of sexual intercourse. A study of 30,00 American men and women (between 1989 & 2012) found that having sex at least once a week in a committed relationship was enough to make people happy. Furthermore, research suggests that the release of dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin (during sex) can temporarily reduce the symptoms of mental health challenges, such as depression.
10) Enhanced Memory!
As you get older, you may find your mental acuity in decline; remembering small things, like where you left your keys, might become a challenge. The good news is, that sex may help to improve brain function! A 2010 animal study discovered a link between sexual activity, and neuron growth—researchers found that rats who had daily sex saw increased rates of neuron growth and enhanced cognitive functioning. The effect may be similar in humans, as a 2018 study, published in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that more frequent sexual activity and greater emotional closeness during partnered sex were associated with better memory performance.
Sex offers a wide range of health benefits for both men and women. That being said, it’s essential to note that an active sex life and sexual arousal can be inhibited by certain physical/hormonal factors. Luckily, the wellness experts at Valhalla are here to help! We offer a variety of supplements/therapies aimed to improve sexual dysfunction (through hormone support) – allowing you to regain the joy of sex in your life. Feel free to explore our website, and find the holistic wellness solution that works for you! Otherwise, it’s time to get busy! Until next time…
Author: Ryan Alvarez
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