A Valentine's day guide
Fri 11 Feb, 2011 12:00 pm GMT
© Yuri Arcurs - Fotolia.com
In fact, sex can benefit your health in many ways. Here are seven reasons to give and get a little love – not just this special day, but any time.
Good for the heartSex is good for your heart. Like any physical exertion, sex is a form of cardio-exercise, which gets your heart pumping faster and helps it stay in shape. What's more, studies have shown that men who have sex two or more times per week cut their risk of a fatal heart attack by half.
Helps you lose weightLike any form of exercise, sex helps you lose weight. Having sex for 30 minutes can burn off 85 calories. To put that in perspective: 15 minutes on the treadmill could burn up to 200 calories; 42 of these half-hour sessions, then, could shave a pound off your weight.
Boosts your immune systemWhile it's possible to contract a wide range of diseases, both from sex and from simple contact with others, safe sex between healthy partners can make you better equipped to fight illness.
Those who have sex once or twice a week have been shown to have higher levels of immunoglobulin A or IgA, an antibody which helps protect you from respiratory diseases like the cold and flu.
Don’t go overboard, though – in studies, those who had sex three or more times a week had the lowest levels of antibodies.
Reduces the risk of prostate cancerFor younger men, sex reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Researchers have found that men in their 20s who had five or more ejaculations per week were one third less likely to develop the cancer in later life. Although they found no such correlation for older men, you could try to prove them wrong.
Relieves stressThere's a medical explanation for the mood boost sex gives you. The brain releases endorphins during and after sex, and these neurotransmitters create a feeling of euphoria while masking the negative effects of stress.
Researchers have also found that sex lowers your blood pressure, which is good for your health and allows you to better keep your cool in stressful situations.