We all know sex is good for us, but do we really know why? I have a website that I love to check out called Mark’s Daily Apple, which is all about different ways to stay healthy and fit for life. I’m a huge proponent for an active and involved sex life, primarily for the good it does for relationships, self-esteem and relaxation, but the health aspects are very interesting. Recently, Mark’s Daily Apple posted a blog about ways that sex helps us stay healthy. Here are a few of my favourites:
Upgrade Your Immune Function
An often cited study from Wilkes University suggests regular sex might offer a surge of immune potency. Among the 112 surveyed students, those who had sex 1-2 times a week showed a rousing 30 percent boost in salivary immunoglobulin. Those who had sex less frequently than once a week had a slight IgA edge over total abstainers. (In an interesting wrinkle, the “three or more times a week” crowd showed slightly lower IgA levels. To their possible chagrin, the researchers didn’t ask participants about the number of partners or other potential “relationship” factors that might have influenced the findings. Hmmm…lack ofsleep?) Although it’s a study to take with a grain of salt, the basic premise is probably sound. As welcome as it is, the usual exchange of fluids (or the body’s anticipated exchange) represents contact with a foreign substance that likely contains some kind of microbial profile.
Reduce Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
Research has linked frequent ejaculations (yes, the solo gig counts here) with a slightly lower risk for prostate cancer in later life. The golden frequency in this study? Twenty-one times per month. It’s a tall order, but I know you can do it.
One possible explanation for the decrease is the “flushing” theory. In its efforts to concentrate minerals and other necessary substances from the blood to make semen, the prostate can end up collecting a concentration of toxins as well. Releasing the semen – with said toxins – flushes the system of said impurities. (Gives a new meaning to cleaning out the pipes.)
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. (Kidding.) Yes, there’s the ever flattering afterglow. It’s a shame they can’t bottle that. There’s so much more to gain, however, or maybe lose. How about calories for instance? Estimates vary but average around 85-100 calories per half an hour. Of course, real life expenditures diverge depending on how zesty an enterprise you enjoy. In terms of calories burned, you’re looking at low to moderate level activity, but your heart rate can easily climb to high intensity levels. It’s probably the most enjoyable cardio you’ll pursue any day of the week.
Then there’s the workout itself – a toning and stretching and strengthening that includes muscles you didn’t even know you had – ala that next morning ache. (Don’t forget about those less obvious – and all important – pelvic floor muscles, which support everything from orgasm intensity to urinary continence.) On the chemical front, intercourse offers a boost in testosterone for stronger bones and muscles. Finally, how about the appeal of a totally relaxed face and body – and the inevitable smile?
These all sound like pretty good reasons to me. Check out the rest of the article and let me know what your top reason is for having sex for health.