If you already love a healthy, regular sex life then here are some other reasons from Melbourne naturopath Tim Altman why it is good for you to maintain it, other than it being fun.
If you’re struggling for motivation or inspiration to have sex regularly, perhaps this will help you change tack in your search for inspiration by providing several not so well known reasons for engaging in sex regularly.
1. Stress relief
Surveys have found that those have sex more regularly also reported that they felt more at ease, happier and were better able to handle stress. Many people also suggest that their sleep is much better and feel more vitality during the day.
There is an intense sensation of euphoria, calm and relaxation that follows orgasm along with the release of the hormones oxytocin (the love hormone which helps us bond and creates the urge to nurture) and prolactin (which plays a role in lactation, but also an important role in regulation of the immune system).
2. Boosting immunity
As mentioned above, prolactin released post orgasm plays an important role in regulating the immune system. In addition, a study from Wilkes University in the USA, found that students who had sex frequently (once or twice a week) had higher levels of IgA (an antibody or immunoglobulin which can protect the body from getting colds and other infections) than those who either abstained, had sex less than once a week or had sex very often (3 or more times per week – a disappointing discovery!).
Orgasm also leads to an increase of DHEA levels, which can boost your immune system, repair tissue, improve cognition, keep skin healthy and even can act as an antidepressant.
3. Burning calories
Regular sex can keep you reasonable fit and can increase awareness of body image. Reports suggest varying levels of calories burned during sex (from 85 to 150 calories per half an hour). The average Australian couple has sex approximately twice per week (1.84 times) so, if this lasted half an hour, then they could burn a few hundred calories per week. And if it lasts for more than half an hour it serves as a great workout.
A further study suggests that having sex three times per week burns the same amount of calories as running thirty miles a week!
4. Improved heart condition
Several studies have found (including the Scottish study above) that sex helps increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure, and regular sex is associated with lower diastolic pressure. Other research has also found that having sex twice a week or more reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by more than half for men when compared to those who had sex infrequently (less than once a month).
4. Improved self-esteem
Self esteem is related to feeling loved, connected or wanted and sex is very often strongly associated with these feelings. Sex can give you an appreciation of your body and the pleasure it brings yourself and your partner.
5. Improved intimacy
The release of oxytocin during sex and especially after orgasm, increases intimacy as oxytocin, or the ‘love and cuddle hormone’, helps us bond and creates the urge to nurture.
6. Strengthened pelvic floor muscles
Doing pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegels, during sex will offer benefits for both women and men. These exercises are done by tightening the muscles of the pelvic floor (especially the perineum), as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine.
By doing these exercises, women will enjoy more pleasure during sex, and the increased strength of the pelvic floor muscles will offer more pleasure to men also. Women will also reduce the risk of incontinence later in life due to the greater strength of these muscles. This benefit will also be experienced by men who strengthen these muscles. In addition, the increased ability to contract these muscles will help men delay ejaculation for extended periods of time (and in return potentially offering women greater pleasure) – a practice that has been carried out for many thousands of years by practitioner of ‘tantric sex’.
7. Improved sleep
While sex is an arousing and stimulating activity, it seems to cause a drop in body temperature, which makes it easier to fall asleep. Sex also appears to induce a deep sleep. Research has also found that increased oxytocin levels during sex and orgasm also help to promote sleep.