Just do it!
Sure, sex is satisfying, but making love yields more benefits than the Big O. This calendar will inspire you to get busy—and score big-time health rewards.From the June 2009 Issue
1. No more migraines
Yes, tonight, honey! Half of women report that sex actually eases headaches, says Randolph W. Evans, M.D., clinical professor of neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
2. Joy jolt
Regular trysts are linked to higher levels of bliss, The Scandinavian Journal of Economics finds. Increase frequency to weekly and reap the same mood elevation as from a $50,000 raise!
3. Extra confidence
The thrill you get from feeling desired and pleasing your partner is a major ego boost!
4. Sleep aid
Forget counting sheep: Orgasms release morphinelike hormones that summon postsex zzz’s.
5. A healthy uterus
“Contractions during climax flush out debris that could go back into the fallopian tubes and lead to endometriosis,” says Harvey Kliman, M.D., at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
6. Fewer colds
Couples who do it weekly see about a 30 percent hike in immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights infection, notes a study from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
7. A keener nose
A roll in the hay spurs the release of the hormone prolactin, which causes stem cells to produce new neurons in the brain’s olfactory bulb, enhancing your sense of smell.
8. Less stress
Sexually active people have a better physical response to stress than those who abstain, Biological Psychology reports. Sex activates the vagal nerve, causing a calming effect. Even a quickie can help you keep your cool!
9. Souped-up sex drive
Levels of testosterone, one of the key hormones that fuel libido, may spike when you make love. Pleasurable payoff: The more you have it, the more you’ll want it.
10. A happier heart
Fun frolics lower blood pressure, reducing your chance for developing heart disease, says Daniel Amen, M.D., author of Sex on the Brain (Harmony Books).
11. Shorter to-do lists
Bumping and grinding can trigger the release of endorphins in your body, “so you may feel more motivated afterward,” says Belisa Vranich, Psy.D., a psychologist at Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute in New York City.
12. Savvier snacking
Sex makes you appreciate your body, inspiring you to eat a more nutritious diet.
13. Predictable periods
Put an end to surprise visitors: Women who are sexually intimate at least once a week boast a more regular menstrual cycle than those who aren’t, due to the exposure to male pheromones.
14. Prompt pregnancies
“Weekly sexual intimacy delays the decline of estrogen as you get older and can enhance fertility,” says Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D., founder of the Athena Institute in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
15. A fitter figure
Romp for 30 minutes and you can burn up to 200 calories. (You torch the most when you’re on top!)
16. Tighter bonds
Nooky spawns a shower of oxytocin, the so-called intimacy hormone, which makes you feel connected to your honey, Vranich says.
17. Mighty memory
Sex is one smart move: In the heat of passion, blood surges through the body and brain. “Anything that improves blood flow to your brain will stimulate and improve your memory,” Dr. Amen says.