5 ways sex makes you healthier
If you need the motivation to choose hot action in bed over the action on telly this weekend, we’ve rounded up the major health reasons to have sex tonight – or any night.
In fact, making love could be one of the few pleasures in life that is genuinely good for you, say researchers.
A new study from Coventry University has even just found that frequent sexual activity in older adults can boost brain power.
Researchers found that people who engaged in more regular sexual activity scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them.
But what other ways can sex help us out on our health kick?
1. BETTER MOOD
The evidence suggests that the ‘feelgood’ effect of making love could be more about chemicals than sexual ability.
During lovemaking and orgasm, a cocktail of endorphins (the body’s natural mood-lifting opiates), neurotransmitters and hormones are released.
Oxytocin, in particular, is a hormone released during and after sex that has been shown to make people more generous towards their partners and can also help induce calm and sleep.
Oxytocin is called the ‘cuddling’ hormone because it’s released after just 20 minutes of hugging. Women produce four times as much as men, for whom production is inhibited by the prevalence of the hormone testosterone, which drives libido. In fact, the Top Sante research found our favourite simple pleasure was a hug – that’s oxytocin at work.
Another key neurotransmitter is serotonin, the body’s key antidepressant chemical and one of the major reasons people smile and feel happy and relaxed after sex.
Sexually active women in long-term relationships were less likely to be depressed than women who went without sex, according to a study of nearly 300 women by American psychologist Gordon Gallup and published in the Archives Of Sexual Behaviour.
Gallup speculated that semen contains several hormones which may have a mood-boosting effect when they are absorbed through the vaginal wall into the bloodstream.