Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The Sexual Advice Association, previously known as the Sexual Dysfunction Association, is an organisation that aims to raise awareness of the sexual conditions that affect so many around the world. To help improve the sexual health of men and women alike, the Sexual Advice Association designed a campaign known as ‘Thinking About Sex Day’. This day is promoted in order to encourage people to think and talk about sex.
Thinking About Sex Day is held on the 14th February; Valentines Day. Running on the most romantic day of the year, the charity promotes the importance of sexual health. Talking openly about sexual health is extremely important, and with this in mind we’re going to explore the hidden health benefits that intimate moments provide:
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
Results from research studies suggest that there is a link between sex and lower blood pressure. It has also been found that simply by embracing, hugging or holding hands with someone close to you can also decrease blood pressure. In the study named “Warm Partner Contact Is Related To Lower Cardiovascular Reactivity” researchers found that when couples held each other’s hands for 10 minutes and then hugged for 20 seconds they had healthier reactions to stress related instances that occurred afterwards, such as public speaking. In comparison to a test group of couples who rested without touching, the couples who embraced were found to have lower heart rate and lower blood pressure.
2. Reduces Stress
Similarly to regular exercise, sex releases anxiety, lowers stress hormones and can help people cope with stressful events for at least a week. Stress can make you feel lethargic, short tempered and distracted. However, when you and your partner have intercourse your body releases oxytocin and endorphins; also known as ‘feel-good hormones’. When these positive hormones are release, worries, concerns and anxieties are soothed. Intimacy can also boost self-esteem and feelings of happiness.
3. Relieves Pain
When you are intimate with your partner natural opiates in the brain and endorphins are released; these chemicals help relieve pain. Therefore, if you are suffering from chronic pain, headaches, arthritis or frequent aches and pains, sex can help. During intercourse a surge of five times more ‘morphine-like’ endorphins are released and these work effectively to numb the pain that you are experiencing.
4. Improves Fitness
Similarly to an intense aerobic workout at the gym, sex has many of the same effects on the body. During an intimate moment with your partner your heart rate increases, your metabolic rate increases, you burn calories and you use a variety of different muscles. Studies have found that the average length of time for sex is 30 minutes, burning between 50 and 100 calories. In addition to burning calories, sex also helps towards strength training.
5. Promotes Heart Health
Just like physical activity, intimacy is good for your heart. Being intimate with your partner sends the heart rate higher - just like aerobic exercise. The benefits of aerobic exercise range from weight loss to reduced risk of diabetes and heart problems, such as heart attack and heart disease. Results from one study found that men who had sex twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease than men who had sex infrequently.