- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 30 August 2016, 11:49AM
Looking to get fit, clear your skin, boost your heart health and lighten your mood?
Don't buy into that extortionate diet fad or juice cleanse.
Have more sex.
That is the advice of two mental health and exercise experts at Curtin University.
According to their new analysis of sexual health studies, the researchers claim consensual sex releases crucial hormones to improve mental and physical well-being.
CLEAR YOUR SKIN
That feeling of love and affection provokes the release of two things: endorphins (a neuro-transmitter) and serotonin (a hormone).
Both do wonders for your skin.
WORK OUT YOUR BODY
'It's exactly the same benefits as doing a full body cardio work but the caveat being that you have to maintain it for long enough,' Professor Kevin Netto, director of research at Curtin University's School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, says.
'Everybody should exercise for about half an hour to an hour each day because we lead such sedentary lifestyles.
'But if sex counts towards incidental exercise then that's great.'
Half an hour of sex burns an average of 70-100 calories, according to a 2013 study by the University of Quebec.
Having sex for longer, perhaps in some more physically challenging positions, can easily boost that figure to improve your workout.
HELP YOUR HEART
That physical activity will naturally drive up your heart rate.
It is equivalent to around 23 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling, 20 minutes shooting hoops, or 15 minutes of moderate-intensity swimming.
While that doesn't cover your daily quota of exercise, it comes close to the American Heart Association's recommended daily amount of movement.
The AHA says, for overall cardiovascular health, we need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week.
Beyond that, we should also aim to fit in two sessions of moderate-/high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity per week.
CALM YOUR MIND
Serotonin, released during an orgasm, gives you a wave of happiness, calming any feelings of stress and anxiety.
Beyond that chemical release, Professor Tilley says the sheer fact of being in a consensual sexual relationship is a natural anti-depressant.
'There's that understanding of ourselves as a sexual being who's able to satisfy our partner and is also able to derive pleasure ourselves,' he says.
'Those feelings are likely to increase our sense of who we are and hence our self-esteem, and more broadly improve our mood or maybe just help maintain our elevated mood.'
But he warns that sex must be consensual and positive to reap the rewards for your bodily and mental health.
Any other circumstance will have the opposite effect, he says.
'If it's not a positive experience and it's full of emotional blackmail or betrayal or it's a coercive or assaulting experience it's going to be an absolute minefield of difficulty.'
SLEEP SOUNDLY - IF YOU'RE A MAN
When we orgasm, our bodies produce a hormone called prolactin, which makes us feel sleepy.
Men produce much more than women.
In fact, when men ejaculate their brains release a whole host chemicals, many of which induce sleep.
These include norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and prolactin.
While women also feel tired, that may largely be to do with the physical exhaustion, as opposed to a man's chemically-induced fatigue.
Source - Daily Mail