Hopping in the sack isn’t just a great time: It’s also good for your health. Sex is cardio, for sure, but there are other, more surprising benefits to sex that you might not be aware of. Hardly anyone needs an excuse to have sex. However, daily sex comes with a number of health benefits of sex that give you even more reason to get up close and personal with someone.
1. Sex Boosts Your Immune System
It’s a fact that people who have regular sex take fewer sick days. A study at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that this is because regular sex boosts a crucial antigen in the saliva and mucosal linings — the first line of defense against disease. Even those who didn’t have sex very often still had more of this than antigen than people who didn’t have sex at all.
2. Sex Helps You to Unwind
Here’s a shocker: When you have sex you’re less stressed out. You might have noticed this going on in your life, but not really known why. The reason is that sex releases dopamine in the brain, as well as oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone.” It’s not just people, either: Even rats that are regularly getting it on are less stressed out than rats that are not.
3. Sex Leads to More Restful Sleep
This one probably isn’t much news to men used to falling fast asleep after sex. However, this can be just as true for women as for men. The culprit is a chemical called prolactin that’s tied to both sleep and sex. The level of prolactin in your body increases after sex, as well as during sleep. A quick roll in the hay before bed might be just what the doctor ordered for anyone having trouble getting 40 winks.
4. Sex Makes You Hornier
It’s a true fact: Sex makes you want to have more sex. Lauren Streicher, MD, as assistant professor at Northwestern University in Chicago points out that having sex is one of the best ways to make your sex life better. In women, regular, daily sex means that there’s more lubrication and elasticity of the vagina, making sex more pleasurable and putting her more in the mood.
5. Sex Acts as a Natural Painkiller
Forget the old headache excuse. One of the best health benefits of sex is that it’s a natural painkiller. A recent study found that for female migraine sufferers, sex was able to decrease the amount of pain. While no one is really sure why, most speculation centers around the release of endorphins, natural painkillers that also happen to flood the brain during sex.
6. Sex Makes You Look Younger
Here’s another way that sex can lead to more sex: It makes you look younger, by as much as ten years. If you’ve having sex three times a week or more, you’re going to get to cash in on this benefit. There’s a pretty straightforward reason for this: Engaging in activities that you enjoy makes you appear more youthful and helps to keep you young. And really, what activity is more enjoyable than sex?
7. Sex Lowers Men’s Risk of Cancer
Get ready for the best news that you’ve heard all day: Sex reduces the risk of cancer in men. One study found that men who had more than 21 orgasms in a month were among the least likely to get prostate cancer. Perhaps the best part is that you don’t even need to be having sex with someone else to get these health benefits of sex. As prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of male cancer out there, this is great news for at-risk men.
8. Sex Lowers Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another common health risk for men that sex can help minimize. Men who have regular sex are nearly two-thirds less likely to get a cardiovascular disease than their sexless counterparts. Unlike the prostate cancer trick, this one won’t work solo; For some reason, this benefit is associated exclusively with vaginal intercourse. Researchers believe this has to do with increased intimacy.
This benefit doesn’t just translate to a decreased risk of heart disease — it also means that you’re at a significantly diminished risk of heart attack.
9. Sex Prevents Erectile Dysfunction
There’s no pill, pump or potion out on the market today that’s going to do more to prevent erectile dysfunction than just having sex. Having sex helps to keep the tissue in your penis oxygenated and healthy, leading to easier erections. What’s more, many doctors liken sex to any other physical activity: The more you train for it, the better shape that you’re in to do it.
10. Sex Helps to Conceive
Obviously, at this point in your life you know how babies are made. But did you know that the more sex you have, the more likely you are to conceive? Of course, this is a case of “you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket,” but there’s more to it than that: When you have sex regularly you have both an increased amount of semen produced, as well as healthier semen. For men looking to sire children, this is even more incentive to get in there and give it yet another go.
11. Sex Makes You Live Longer
All of this adds up to one thing: Sex helps you to live longer. Besides all the above health benefits of sex, there is this ultimate one: People who are sexually frustrated have a decreased life expectancy, sometimes living half as long as their more fulfilled counterparts.