A relationship can enrich your life. When you’re in a relationship, you know that someone always has your back no matter what. You have someone who knows you and understands you.
You can to talk to your partner about your day as well as your hopes and frustrations on a regular basis. You and your partner can watch movies, try new things, and take vacations together.
One of the best parts of a relationship is being intimate with someone. Intimacy can take many forms, but having sex is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think of “being intimate.” And while a relationship is built upon a number of qualities – trust, respect, compatibility, mutual interests, friendship, and more – sex should be part of a healthy romantic relationship.
But sex isn’t just important for the health of the relationship – it’s also great for your own health!
That’s right. It might surprise you to learn that sex can be extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health. Here are 6 ways that regular sex bolsters your health.
- Sex helps alleviate stress. People get stressed for a number of reasons: problems at work, financial difficulty, family drama, personal issues, and other stressful situations. And when they’re under stress, people experience it in different ways. Some get headaches or muscle tension, whereas others might have problems sleeping or even something more serious like signs of depression.Here’s the good news: if you’re feeling stressed, sex can help to release that tension.How? It all comes down to chemistry. Sex and physical intimacy can trigger your brain to release “happy” chemicals such as:
– Dopamine is a chemical that has a big role in reward-motivated behavior. It also increases motivation overall and can really focus your attention.
– These brain chemicals naturally fight pain and stress.
– This chemical is known as the “cuddle hormone” and can elicit feelings of compassion.
Along with all of these “feel good” chemicals, your body also release prolactin after an orgasm, which is a hormone that causes drowsiness and relaxation.
So the next time you have a headache, don’t use it as an excuse to avoid sex – because getting physical with your partner may just help that pain to disappear!
- Sex is a physical activity, so it counts as exercise. Getting to the gym on a regular basis can be difficult. But having sex with your partner is easy and doesn’t require you to leave the house!Sex can be pretty demanding physically, and in a typical session, women can burn around 70 calories and men can burn about 100 calories. Those numbers may go up depending on how – ahem – physical you plan to be.We all know that exercise is an essential part of any plan to maintain your overall health, but it can also increase your energy levels, improve your mood, reduce stress, and make you feel great. Sex-as-exercise is no different except that it also makes you feel closer to your partner.
- Sex can boost your immune system. Want to fight colds and other health ailments? Consider having sex with your partner. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania studied college students who had sex once or twice a week. They discovered that these students had higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that helps fight diseases and keeps the body safe from the flu, common cold, and similar illnesses.
- Sex can make you smart. Did you know that sex increases your brain power? It’s true! Crossword puzzles, memory games, Sudoku, and similar activities meant to stimulate your brain might activate a handful of brain areas.But research on the female orgasm suggests that a sexual climax can stimulate up to 30 areas of the brain! Why does this happen? During an orgasm, blood flows into the brain, bringing a ton of nutrients and oxygen to your brain cells.
- Sex improves your self-esteem. Unless you and your partner want to have sex every day, daily sex isn’t necessary to keep a relationship working. But a complete lack of sex can negatively impact both your relationship and your self-esteem.Being physical with your partner makes you feel desired, loved, and connected. If you and your partner aren’t having sex, you could start doubting yourself and have feelings of worry, fear, or inadequacy.Regular sex often helps to keep those negative feelings at bay. If you and your partner aren’t engaging in sex, you should communicate honestly with each other and try to address any issues.
- Sex deepens your connection. Relationships are hard work. And a number of things can keep you from having regular sex with your partner. You’re tired. You don’t feel well. You’re dealing with issues at work. Life can easily creep up and get in the way of your sex life.Sometimes this is okay. It’s a temporary phase and things will eventually turn around. But if you neglect your sex life altogether, couples can start to resent each other, which can lead to them growing apart. When this happens, you may not even want to be intimate with your partner.But if you make sex a priority, you won’t have to worry about those issues. Sex allows you to connect with your partner on a deep, emotional level and increases feelings of closeness. This is why couples that have regular sex are often happier and more satisfied with their relationships than couples that engage in sex less frequently.
As you can see, sex has a number of health benefits for your actual health and for your overall relationship. So engaging in regular sex with your partner is great for both of you.
What exactly does “regular” sex mean? There is no set magic number for the number of times in a given week, month, or year that a couple should be having sex. Every couple has to decide that on their own.
That’s why you should be able to talk openly and honestly with your partner to come up with what will work best for the two of you. The goal is to be satisfied with your sex life so that you can experience all the wonderful benefits sex has to offer.
If you and your partner are having trouble with your sex life or want to be proactive by having a more conscious and intentional relationship, consider attending a safe, yet powerful IMAGO Couples’ Workshop or seeking out a Houston relationship counselor. Contact me today to set up a consultation.