Men who have sex at least twice a week can almost halve their risk of heart disease, according to new research.
It shows men who indulge in regular lovemaking are up to 45 percent less likely to develop life-threatening heart conditions. The study, of over 1,000 men, did not examine whether women benefit too.
The researchers who carried out the investigation are calling for doctors to screen men for sexual activity when assessing their risk of heart disease.
This researchers were so impressed with their finding they suggested that physicians start screening men for sexual activity as a way to determine their risk for heart disease.
Men who made love regularly (at least twice a week) were 45 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who did so once a month or less.
So if your doctor starts grilling you about your bedroom habits, now at least you will know why.
A Roll in the Hay Keeps the Doctor Away?
Sex is an activity that involves intense physical and emotional elements, and it’s likely its benefits do too. The researchers from the New England Research Institute in Massachusetts who led this study believe that sexual intercourse may be a marker for a healthy heart because:
Sex can be a form of physical activity that, like exercise, gives your heart a workout
People who have a desire for frequent sex, and are able to do so, are likely healthier overall
Men who have regular sex may also be in a supportive relationship, which offers stress reduction and emotional benefits
Sex has also been found to boost self-esteem and improve intimacy in your relationship. This is because sex and orgasms result in increased levels of the hormone oxytocin -- the “love” hormone -- that helps you feel bonded to your partner.
As oxytocin increases, so do hormones known as endorphins, which in turn lessens feelings of pain related to everything from headaches and arthritis to symptoms of PMS. It can also help you to get a better night’s sleep.
So though it may sound tongue-in-cheek to recommend more sex as an important health tool, it does appear that is the case.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a mutually monogamous relationship, frequent sex is an excellent way to improve your health and even prevent future disease.
“Frequent” is all relative, of course, and although the above study counted twice a week as frequent, other studies have found that having sex even once a week can benefit your health in the following ways;
Get fewer colds because of an increase in immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights infection
Women can get more predictable periods because of exposure to male pheromones
A better physical response to stress
Lower blood pressure, which lowers your risk of heart disease
Lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol
Help tone your abs, gluts and pretty much any muscle in your body
Natural increases in estrogen improve the appearance of your hair, skin and nails
Improve your memory because blood flow increases to your brain
Increased feelings of motivation because of the release of endorphins
If You’re Not Having Regular Sex, You Can Still Protect Your Heart
Obviously having a regular sexual partner may just not be a practical option for many for a large variety of reasons. If you fall into this category, then relax as there are many other factors that can improve your cardiovascular health.
Low levels of vitamin D in your blood have long been correlated with a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks, and a previous study found women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk of death from heart disease by one-third.
There are a number of physiological mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that act to fight heart disease, such as:
An increase in your body's natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
The suppression of vascular calcification
The inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth
So to everyone, make sure you’re monitoring your vitamin D level regularly and then taking the steps – either sun exposure, safe tanning bed or vitamin D3 supplements -- to keep your level in the optimal range.
Then, apply the Take Control of Your Health program. This will virtually eliminate your heart disease risk -- sometimes quite rapidly-- because it helps to significantly reduce inflammation in your body. And keeping your inflammation levels low is key if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease.
You can become familiar with the nutritional aspect of the program right now using my nutrition plan, but the program is much more than just nutritional. It addresses the big picture strategy you need, from exercise and stress reduction to healthy fats and avoiding toxins, to optimize your health.
Sexual Dysfunction Can be a Sign of a Much Larger Health Problem
Are you in a committed relationship and finding your sex life leaves much to be desired?
This sexual dysfunction could be a sign of an underlying health problem. It could also simply be a manifestation of stress or emotional problems, so it may take some detective work on your end to determine the problem.
The reason why you should take time to figure it out, aside from the obvious, is that erectile dysfunction (ED) may be the first and earliest indicator of a significant cardiovascular condition.
If you suffer from ED, and have ruled out emotional issues as a cause, it is especially important that you take the steps I noted above to strengthen and protect your heart.
If ED is not the problem, but lack of desire is, I recommend -- again because sexual dysfunction can worsen due to stress and anxiety -- taking control of your emotions by learning the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). MTT is a technique that can help you effectively address your stress-related thoughts and leave you feeling calmer and more able to face your challenges, whatever they may be.
Next, get physically active, exercise-wise, and pay attention to cleaning up your diet.
Studies have shown that men who engaged in regular physical activity lowered their risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction, while a healthy diet will not only improve your body image in time (always a big help in the bedroom), but high levels of sugar in your bloodstream can actually turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones.
So we’ve come full circle once again, and all arrows point to a healthy lifestyle as the solution for maintaining not only a healthy sex life, but also a healthy heart.