Dim the lights!
Couples that have become complacent in their relationship or too caught up with other things may not realize the benefits of a healthy sex life. And we don't blame you! It's easy to forget how important bedroom time is, especially when you've moved past the falling in love I-want-to-love-you-and-eat-you-and-become-one-body feeling and onto the I've-had-such-a-long-day-all-I-want-is-dinner-and-sleep phase.
But sex is important for so many reasons, both physical and emotional. You may have heard that sex releases oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone," which makes you feel lovey-dovey and improves your bond with your partner—but there are many other health benefits you may not be aware of. Here are 9 reasons you should be having more sex.
1. You get sick less often. Having sex once or twice a week raises your levels of immunoglobulins, an antibody that helps your body fight off infection from bacteria and viruses. Regular sex can improve your immune system by 30 percent.
2. It's more exciting than a treadmill. Sex burns 3 – 4 calories a minute, compared with about 1.5 if you're just sitting there, and orgasms produce the amphetamine-like chemical phenylethylamine, a natural appetite suppressant. (Bonus: phenylethylamine is also found in chocolate!)
3. You'll have improved self-esteem. Sex releases endorphins, which produce an overall feel-good sensation—that's part of what makes you feel calm and secure after sex. Feeling good in the bedroom can translate to other areas of your life.
4. It's better than Aspirin. In addition to endorphins, sex releases corticosteroids, both of which are natural pain-relievers that can soothe headaches, period cramps and back pain. Of course, your partner will be sure to remind you of this reason the next time you try to use a headache as an excuse NOT to have sex.
5. It helps you sleep better. The oxytocin that is released during orgasm also promotes sleep—which may explain why your guy goes from 60 to zero in about five seconds after a romp.
6. It relieves stress and reduces depression. You may not feel like getting down and dirty after a difficult day at work, but sex can actually help reduce stress. Studies have shown that after having sex with a partner (as opposed to masturbating), women had lower levels of stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure and reported being in a better mood. One study even found that women who were exposed to semen were less depressed than those who used condoms. (Though we do NOT recommend skipping the condom—an unwanted pregnancy or an STD would zap those good feelings pretty quickly.)
7. It improves your sense of smell. After you orgasm, your body produces prolactin, a hormone that makes you feel sexually satisfied. But prolactin also activates the olfactory bulb, the part of the brain that controls your sense of smell—the association between being sexually satisfied and breathing in the scent of your partner may increase your partner bond.
8. It makes you look younger. Sex raises your estrogen levels, which makes your hair shiny and your skin glow. In fact, regular sex may actually slow aging, according to researcher David Weeks, author of Secrets Of The Superyoung. In his study, people who had sex with their partners (casual sex or cheating doesn't work!) three or more times a week looked 7 to 12 years younger than their actual ages.
9. Regular periods. A Stanford University study found that women who have weekly sex have more regular cycles than women who have less frequent sex. This benefit comes from intimacy, as well as regular sex.
What health or other benefits have you noticed after having sex?
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