You wake up early to go to gym, training for a 5k every evening Or if your exercise regimen is somewhere in between, take heart: Sex is aerobic activity, and it’s great for cardiovascular health. Dr. Rachel Needle, a psychologist at the Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida, says, “One act of intercourse is the exercise equivalent of 30 minutes of jogging and walking nine holes of golf.” The benefits have only just begun…
1 Keeps Your Blood Flowing
According to Dr. Jennifer Berman, co-founder of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at UCLA, orgasms increase your circulation, keeping the blood flowing to your genital area. This in turn keeps your tissue healthy!
2. It’s A Form Of Cardio
Although it can’t be considered an alternative to daily exercise, having an orgasm is a cardiovascular activity. “Your heart rate increases, blood pressure increases [and your] respiratory rate increases,” says Berman. And because it’s akin to running in many physiological respects, your body also releases endorphins. Sounds like a pretty fun way to work your heart out.
3. Lifts Your Mood
Feeling down in the dumps? An orgasm might be just what you need to pick yourself up. In addition to endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin are also released during orgasm. All three of these hormones have what Berman terms “mood-enhancing effects.” In fact, dopamine is the same hormone that’s released when individuals use drugs such as cocaine — or eat something really delicious.
4. Helps You Sleep
A little pleasure may go a long way towards a good night’s rest. A recent survey of 1,800 women found that over 30 percent of them used sexual release as a natural sedative.
5. Keeps Your Brain Healthy
Having an orgasm not only works out your heart, but also your head. Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D. told Cosmopolitan that orgasms actually nourish the brain with oxygen. “Functional MRI images show that women’s brains utilize much more oxygen during orgasm than usual,” Komisaruk says.
6. It’s A Natural Painkiller
One thing that Victorian practitioners may have been onto is that orgasms can work to soothe certain aches and pains — namely migraines and menstrual cramps. (So now you know what to do next time you have a headache if you don’t feel like popping an Excedrin.) According to Berman, the contractions that make up an orgasm can actually work to evacuate blood clots during your period, providing some temporary relief.
7. It Relieves Stress
Most of our lives are so hectic that it’s hard to even imagine being relaxed. However, it turns out that sexual release can double as stress relief. Not only do the hormones help with this task, Berman says that being sexual also gives our minds a break: “When we’re stressed out and overextending ourselves, [we’re] not being in the moment. Being sexual requires us to focus on one thing only.”
8. Gives You A Healthy Glow
There actually might be something to the idea that we “glow” after sex. The hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which shows increased levels during sexual excitement, can actually make your skin healthier.
9. Aids Your Emotional Health
Last but not least, when you know what it takes to make yourself orgasm, you may increase your emotional confidence and intelligence. “When you understand how your body works and … [that it] is capable of pleasure on its own, regardless of your partner status, you make much better decisions in relationships,” says Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., a sexologist and certified sexuality educator. “You don’t look to someone else to legitimize that you’re a sexual being.”
Next time before going to gym, consider yourself for a “30 minute jog”!