HOW SEX BOOSTS HEALTH

Fi­nally, some doc­tor’s or­ders we’ll all be thrilled to fol­low…

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - DOC­TOR’S OR­DERS YOU’LL BE THRILLED TO FOL­LOW

IT TORCHES KILOJOULES. It slays stress. It can even help fos­ter eter­nal youth. Yes, really. Stud­ies show that a healthy sex life is linked to a healthy life life. Bless the re­searchers for look­ing into this im­por­tant mat­ter. They have sci­en­tif­i­cally proven that reg­u­larly get­ting busy can al­le­vi­ate pain, re­duce anx­i­ety and help stave off colds. Behold: your sex pre­scrip­tion.

Sex for Zen

You could med­i­tate – or you could just bone. Your brain can re­act to sex in much the same way it does to mind­ful­ness, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­view in So­cioaf­fec­tive Neu­ro­science & Psy­chol­ogy. The sen­sory ab­sorp­tion (read: to­tal tun­ing out) that comes with rhyth­mic sex­ual stim­u­la­tion can put you in a med­i­ta­tive-like state, says re­view au­thor Adam Safron, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist at North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity. That, in turn, can dis­tract you from anx­ious thoughts and lower your stress lev­els. You don’t even need a part­ner to ‘de-stress’ – solo play can spur the same trance-like calm.

Sex for immunity

Mak­ing love can boost pro­duc­tion of im­munoglob­u­lin A (IgA), an in­fec­tion-fight­ing an­ti­body that hangs out in the mouth, nose and eyes, where germs com­monly at­tack. ‘Through in­ti­macy, peo­ple are ex­posed to bac­te­ria from their part­ner’s mouth,’ says emer­gen­cymedicine doc­tor Joshua Rus­sell, di­rec­tor of provider ed­u­ca­tion and qual­ity as­sur­ance for GoHealth Ur­gent Care.

‘That ex­po­sure to un­fa­mil­iar mi­crobes likely con­trib­utes to the in­creased pro­duc­tion of IgA.’ And the more IgA you have, the bet­ter your body is able to zap nasty in­vaders. Isn’t it about time for some vi­ta­min C? (As in coitus, of course…)

Sex for pain re­lief

Your headache fi x could be an or­gasm away. In a study in the jour­nal Cepha­lal­gia, 60% of mi­graine suf­fer­ers felt a re­duc­tion in pain dur­ing or af­ter sex, and 19% of those re­ported that a sex ses­sion left them com­pletely ache-free. One the­ory is that the en­dor­phins un­leashed dur­ing erotic romps have a heal­ing power that can be prac­ti­cally medic­i­nal.

Sex for fit­ness

Strug­gling to hit your daily 10 000 steps? Sub­sti­tute some hor­i­zon­tal ex­er­tion and you’ll be all set. For a 60kg woman, the av­er­age num­ber of kilojoules burned be­tween the sheets (or on top of ’em) is equiv­a­lent to walk­ing 1,5km at 5,5 to 7km/ h, ac­cord­ing to re­search from the Univer­sité du Québec à Mon­tréal. Walk or cop­u­late? The choice is clear.

Sex for glow­ing skin

If you wanna keep get­ting asked for ID, get laid at least three times a week. Men and women in re­la­tion­ships who had sex on the reg­u­lar were per­ceived to be a whop­ping five to 12 years younger than they ac­tu­ally were in a sur­vey con­ducted by a clin­i­cal neu­ropsy­chol­o­gist at the Royal Ed­in­burgh Hos­pi­tal in Scot­land. Some pos­si­ble rea­sons: get­ting frisky in­creases cir­cu­la­tion, send­ing oxy­gen-rich blood to the face; it also prompts the re­lease of hu­man growth hor­mone, which may help make skin ap­pear smoother and more sup­ple.

Sex for suc­cess

Who (er, we mean what) you do off the clock can amp up your on-the-job en­gage­ment and sat­is­fac­tion, ac­cord­ing to a new study pub­lished in the Jour­nal Of Man­age­ment. Re­searchers found the mood lift you get from sex (even meh sex) helps keep you happy and en­gaged at work the next day. Now, if only that hot guy in fi nance would help you test this re­search…

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