People who have more sex may have a better quality of life — and not just now, but in the future, too. If you have an active sex life in middle age, you’re more likely to keep it up as you get older, which is linked to better health and happiness. Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons why you should have more sex.
1. Lowers Stress: People who have more sex are less anxious when they’re faced with stressful tasks like public speaking or arithmetic. But according to the study, it only works when you have a partner — masturbation doesn’t count.
2. May Cure Your Headache: Say goodbye to the old standby “Not tonight, Dear. I have a headache.” It turns out sex can help with pain, and that includes some kinds of headaches, such as migraines. Not feeling frisky? Try: “Not tonight, Honey. I have a highly contagious stomach bug.” Works every time.
3. Makes You Happy: You don’t have to overdo it — once a week is plenty. More than that, and the effect fades. But scientists only studied couples in committed relationships, so if you’re trying to meet your quota by picking up strangers at your local bar, all bets are off.
4. Good for Mental Health: Adults in committed relationships who have more sex are less likely to be depressed or take medication for mental health issues.
5. You Could Make a Baby: If you’re trying to have a baby, the more sex you have, the more likely you are to hit the right time of the month. But more sex may also prime women for pregnancy and improve sperm quality in men, which can speed things along.
6. Keeps You Lean: The more sex you have, the slimmer you’re likely to be. Is that because more sex keeps you trim? Or because lean people have more sex? Scientists don’t really know, but all you need is a partner and a bathroom scale to try to find out.
7. Bonds You to Your Partner: The hormone oxytocin is released during sex, and it sparks feelings of intimacy, affection, and closeness with your partner. That helps build a strong, stable relationship, which is good for everyone.
8. Sharpens Your Mind: Sex has been linked to the making of new brain cells, and that’s a good thing. People over 50 who had more sex were better able to recall numbers and do basic math, and the difference was pretty big. It seemed to help men more than women, but both did better than those who had less sex.
9. It’s Exercise: It’s not necessarily a full workout, but it can be as good for you as moderate exercise. It raises your heart rate about the same as a brisk walk or a slow bike ride.
10. You May Live Longer: One study suggested that married women who climaxed more often had a slight tendency to live longer. Researchers aren’t sure if the sex actually lengthens your life or if having sex is a sign of a healthier person. But why take any chances?