You know sex feels good and does wonders for your mood.
But did you know that it benefits your health (his too!) in a number of not-so-obvious ways? The reason, according to scientists, is that during lovemaking, our bodies produce a cascade of hormones (and other biological changes) that can ease pain, lower cancer risk, boost immunity, and even offset menopausal symptoms. Taking care of your health has never been so much fun.
1. Reduces chronic pain
Next time you have a headache, just say yes.
Stimulation of your clitoris and vaginal walls triggers the release of endorphins, corticosteroids, and other natural painkillers. As a result, you’ll feel less pain from headaches and sore muscles during sex. The benefit, which begins before you orgasm, can linger for up to 2 days, says Barry Komisaruk, PhD, a Rutgers University psychology professor and coauthor of The Science of Orgasm. In his research, he found that women could withstand painful pressure to their fingers while they were stimulated with sex toys; during orgasm, pain tolerance doubled. And self-stimulation through the front wall of the vagina, where some find their G-spot, increases pain tolerance and pain detection thresholds by up to 50 percent, reports Komisaruk.
2. Lowers breast cancer risk
During arousal and orgasm, your levels of "happiness" hormones rise.
Two of these — oxytocin and DHEA — may help keep breasts cancer free. One study showed that women who have sex more than once a month have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who are less sexually active. And Greek researchers found that men who had at least seven orgasms a month in their 50s had a significantly lower chance of developing male breast cancer.
3. Gives your heart a workout
Cardiologists rank intercourse as a mild-to-moderate-intensity exercise that enhances heart health as well as brisk walking does.
As with any workout, the more vigorous you are, the more your heart benefits. The positions you try matter too; being on top is especially cardiac-friendly because it usually requires more effort. Orgasm delivers a bonus: At your peak moment, your heart rate may hit 110 beats per minute, comparable to what you might achieve when walking quickly or jogging. Keep reading...
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