Having sex is fun. As neurologist and pain specialist Barbara Wilson puts it; “Sex… What else is free, fun, low calorie, and exercise?” Many studies have investigated the health benefits of sex and the relationship between sexual activity and physical health. The result is astounding!

Longer life

According to research, having sex frequently with an intimate partner improves your sense of well-being and may add years to your life. One British study found that men who had sex at least twice per week, lived longer than men who had intercourse once per month. A study at Duke University that followed 252 people over twenty-five years found that the risk of death in men increased for those who gave up sexual activities at an earlier age. Be aware though, that according to a 1977 study from Australia, there seems to be a link between the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and infidelity.

Healthier Heart

Sex gets the heart pumping, hence having sex twice or more per week will positively impact your heart’s health. In a British study, researchers found that those who engaged in intercourse less than once per month were at a higher risk of having cardiovascular problems than those who engaged in sex more frequently. During intercourse heart rate goes up from a normal rate of seventy beats per minute to a peak of 180 beats per minute. This increase in heart rate during sexual activity will result in improved cardiovascular function and more blood being pumped through the brain, resulting in greater efficiency in and outside of the bedroom.

Positive Mood

Sex is an antidepressant. Like antidepressants, sex creates a calming effect on the brain due to intense activity in the limbic parts of the brain; the home of your emotions and motivations after orgasm. The deep breathing that you experience during sex, relaxes the body. The touching and stroking you receive creates a sense of belonging and a positive mood due to the release of endorphins and other “feel good hormones” that serve as an antidote to stress.

Improves Looks

Frequent sex and regular orgasm can make you look “super young.” According to Dr. David Weeks, neuro-psychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, making love at least three times per week will make you look ten years younger. Dr. Weeks, in his ten-year study of more than 3,500 people aged 18 to 102, found that sexual activity in women triggers a human growth hormone, which helps them keep young. Estrogen levels are also elevated in women during intercourse, resulting in smoother skin and shiny hair.

Burn Calories

Making love frequently is a great form of exercise and burns, on average, 150 calories per encounter, the equivalent of a vigorous thirty-minute workout. A German study found that men and women who had sex more frequently tended to be slimmer than people who didn’t have as much sex. Regular sexual activity is, therefore, an excellent way to burn calories and maintain a leaner physique.

Lower Cancer Risk

Numerous studies have linked having lots of sex to reduced risk in prostate cancer. In an article published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine results of a large study found that men who ejaculated frequently had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. The study of over 29,000 men aged 46-81 years found that men who ejaculated twenty-one times or more per month had a one-third reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, in comparison to men who had four to seven ejaculations per month. More sex and more ejaculations could therefore boost your prostate health.

How about women? Research has also found a correlation between frequency in sexual activity and breast cancer among women. A 1989 French study found that women who had sexual intercourse infrequently or not at all had a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who had sex more frequently.

Pain Reliever

Elevated levels of oxytocin which is secreted in the body during intercourse may benefit you in the pain department. As oxytocin levels rise, endorphins are released, which serve as a pain reliever. Research done by Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers University found that women who experienced regular orgasms had a higher pain threshold when suffering from conditions ranging from whiplash to arthritis. For those of you who sometimes experience a migraine headache, you can save yourself a trip to the pharmacy by spending some time in the sack.