Benefits of love and sex Besides a heart full of love and a big smile, romance can bring some positive health benefits. Some scientific studies suggest that a loving relationship, physical touch and sex can bring health benefits.
Sex is good for your heart Anything that exercises your heart is good for you, including sex. Sexual arousal sends the heart rate higher, and the number of beats per minute reaches its peak during orgasm. Some studies show the average peak heart rate at orgasm is the same as during light exercise, such as walking upstairs.
Adults should do at least minutes 2. Unless you're having minutes of orgasms a week, try cycling, brisk walking or dancing. Experts advise that you can usually have sex as long as you can do the everyday activities that have the same impact on your heart without causing chest pain, such as walking up two flights of stairs. Sex and the heart: What is the role of the cardiologist? European Heart Journal ; A hug keeps tension away Embracing someone special can lower blood pressure, according to researchers.
In one experiment, couples who held each other's hands for 10 minutes followed by a second hug had healthier reactions to subsequent stress , such as public speaking. Similar effects have been found for non-sexual stroking, although this appears to only reduce blood pressure in women who are stroked, not men. Warm partner contact is related to lower cardiovascular reactivity. In stress tests, including public speaking and doing mental arithmetic out loud, the people who had no sex at all had the highest stress levels.
People who only had penetrative sex had the smallest rise in blood pressure. This shows that they coped better with stress. Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile-vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity. Weekly sex might help fend off illness There's a link between how often you have sex and how strong your immune system is, researchers say.
A study in Pennsylvania found students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of an important illness-fighting substance in their bodies. The lowest levels were in people who had sex more than twice a week. But don't devise a sex calendar just yet. More research is needed before it can be proved that weekly sex helps your immune system. Another study found stroking a dog resulted in raised IgA levels in students. Resting quietly or stroking a stuffed dog didn't.
Psychology Report , ; Effect of petting a dog on immune system function. People who have sex feel healthier It could be that people who feel healthier have more sex, but there seems to be a link between sexual activity and your sense of wellbeing. A study of 3, Americans aged showed that those who were having sex rated their general health higher than those who weren't. People who were in a close relationship or married were more likely to say they felt in "very good" or "excellent" health than just "good" or "poor".
It seems that emotional and social support can boost our sense of wellbeing. New England Journal of Medicine. One study of 10, men found those who felt "loved and supported" by their spouse had a reduced risk of angina. This was the case even if they had other risk factors, such as being older or having raised blood pressure. Medalie JH, Goldbourt U. Angina pectoris among 10, men. Psychosocial and other risk factors as evidenced by a multivariate analysis of a five-year incidence study.
American Journal of Medicine , ; American Journal of Epidemiology , ; Effect of social networks on year survival in very old Australians: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, ; Since , participants in The Nun Study had yearly checks on their physical and mental abilities. Researchers used convent records to obtain their social, family and educational background.