Remember the intimacy you once had with your loved one? And remember how you felt during that time? Stress-free, relaxed, almost euphoric. Maybe now that you’re older, you and your partner don’t connect as often, but sex can offer many benefits to your health, no matter your age.
We can watch what we eat, drink eight glasses of water a day, and go for our evening strolls. But what if boosting intimacy could give us a handful of health benefits as well…Would you make a candlelit dinner tonight? Here are 4 ways that sex improves our health.
Sex as a pain-reliever
Have you ever been told, “Sorry honey, not tonight, I have a headache?” Well, you’ll be happy to know that sex can help with that. So put down those anti-inflammatory and ibuprofen pills, and head to the bedroom instead.
A German study explored the idea that sex could aid in headaches and migraines. Participants who chose to have sex with the onset of a migraine or headache reported experiencing partial to complete relief.
Because headaches can form with too much blood flow to the head, when we orgasm the blood flow becomes diverted to the genitals, in turn clearing the head. That, combined with the endorphins that are released, offers a fast and effective pain-reliever. So don’t let a headache stand in the way of your intimacy any longer. In fact it’s a good reason to start!
Sex is good for your heart
Love is associated with the heart; so to say sex is good for the heart could be a way of saying it’s an expression of love. But even more so, sex is actually good for the cardiovascular system.
A British study followed a group of men over the course of 20 years. What they found was those men who had sex at least twice a week were less likely to die of a heart attack. After 10 years these men reduced their risk of heart disease by 50 percent, in comparison to those who had sex once a month.
But why is sex giving you heart benefits? Well, researchers suggest this is merely a correlation, but they noted those who enjoy sex tend to live healthier lives. In addition, sex does have the ability to moderate hormones – estrogen and testosterone – which play a role in our cardiovascular system.
Anxious or stressed? Sex can help
Generally speaking, being stressed or anxious can deter sex from happening, but it should be used as a solution. A 2005 Scottish study looked at participants in stressful situations – public speaking or solving math problems out loud – and their sexual activity was recorded. Those who enjoyed sex more frequently bounced back quicker after the stressful situation. Better yet, they didn’t experience spikes in their blood pressure. Since stress can greatly affect blood pressure, finding an enjoyable way to reduce it is a win-win.
High blood pressure can affect your blood flow, and unfortunately your parts simply won’t work half as well without blood flow. You may also feel tired, groggy, and just not up for sex, so maintaining normal blood pressure is also key.
Sex helps you catch up on sleep
If getting a restful sleep is a problem for you, especially as you age, you may want to partake in some bedroom activities before falling asleep.
Researchers at Yale University suggest that when we have sex, oxytocin rises – the hormone which creates the feeling of togetherness. In turn, the stress hormone cortisol decreases. Combine the two and you have yourself the perfect, natural sleep aid.
It’s pretty clear that sex holds many benefits to our health. From protecting our hearts, to making us feel calmer, sex is a natural way to improve our health. Although these are just some benefits of sex, other notable health improvements are boosting our immune system, helping us live longer and even making us look younger!
Who doesn’t want those added benefits as well?
Although now that you’re older you may not have the time or interest in sex, but remember it’s not only important for your relationship, it’s great for your health as well. And frankly, the better you feel, the more sex you’ll want to have.
So if sex hasn’t been a priority as of late, maybe it’s time to dim the lights, play some soft music, and get to know your partner again.
Remember the famous lyrics from the 1976 chart-topper, Golden Years? “Nothing’s gonna touch you in your golden years.” The pop star had it all wrong. Younger couples aren’t the only ones enjoying intimacy and good sexual health. Older couples can, too.
Trouble in the bedroom? It’s more common than you think. As a doctor, I find once patients open up about their sex life, they have so many questions and concerns. All sorts of factors play into sexual drive and performance, but here’s something you may not have considered: Kegel exercises. Not just for women, but for men as well!
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