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Have Sex to Stay Fit

Ok, I see that smile on your face. But let's face it, ours is very much a man's world and men are most happy with sex. So let's indulge them a little bit, not for its carnal connotation but of the desirable effects it brings. Yes, sex is not only pleasurable but healthy as well. According to Joy Davidson, PhD, a New York psychologist and sex therapist, sex enhances our life and health, both physically and psychologically in these ways (backed by scientific scrutiny by other experts):

o Stress relief:
Clinical tests done in Scotland showed that the group who had intercourse prior to the tests had better responses to a controlled set of questions than those who did not. In another test, lower diastolic blood pressure was associated with cohabiting partners who had frequent intercourse.

Results of both studies have been published in the Journal of Biological Psychology. Still skeptical? Suppress your need for sex and let's see if you won't be stressed out real good.

o Immunity enhancement:
Studies done at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia showed that sex once or twice a week increases the level of the antibody A or IgA, an immunoglobulin which is good against colds and other infections.

o Getting rid of extra calories:
Sex is just another form of physical activity, exercise. Thirty minutes of sex easily burns 85 calories. Done several times a week and the calorie lost becomes significant. If you think it is still not much, then see if you will have as much fun biking or running up and down staircases.

o Cardiovascular health improvement:
The physical activity of sex, no matter how vigorous, could not cause stroke. This was the result of the studies done by researchers from England (published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health) on 914 men monitored for 20 years. It also observed that fatal heart attack was 50% lower among men who have sex once or twice a week than those who do it less than once a month.

o Self-esteem booster:
Most of the guys I play tennis with have very high self-esteem. They talk of how good their game is on the court and how good their sex is off the court. Good fun even if they border on the bizarre most of the time.

o Improves intimacy:
Having sex and orgasm increases the levels of the hormone oxytocin, or love hormone which helps people bond together and build trust, essential ingredients for happiness. This is borne out in a study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina.

o Pain relief or reduction:
The increase in the hormone oxytocin increases the secretion of endorphins, small protein molecules known to help relieve pain. Sex would help relieve the pain from headache, arthritis or PMS (post menopausal syndrome) - provided you can make yourself do it.

o Prostate cancer risk reduction:
Studies in Australia (reported in the British Journal of Urology) involving a group of men showed the frequent ejaculations may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life.

A similar study (reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association), showed that older men who had 21 or more ejaculations a month had lower incidence of prostate cancer than those with lesser ejaculations. Nothing is said of the side effects of frequent ejaculations though.

o Makes you sleep better:
I slept like a babe after lunch after I had it the last time. Seriously, the oxytocin released during orgasm promotes sleep. And a good sleep is necessary in managing weight and blood pressure.

While sex has always been taken as an act of satisfying the more basal needs of man, inescapably, it also satisfies man's quest for health, fitness and happiness - positive add-ons on a subject most people are still loathed to talk about in public.

By: Joseph Dabon

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