Heart of the Matter: Active sex life key to good health

We’re almost two weeks into that time of year when many folks are making new year’s resolutions and focused on getting back on track to a healthier way of living.

For myself, by the end of the busy holiday season I’ve been thrown so far out of my routine that by the time January rolls around I’m more committed than ever to getting back into it. I would love to find more balance day to day and less of the feast or famine trend that my connection to wellness (and sexuality) can have.

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Sometimes receiving a gentle reminder of the benefits to having a wellness practice in our lives can help inspire us to stay on track.
So here is a list of amazing benefits to staying connected to an active sex life:

Stress relief

Body contact and secure connection have a direct effect on the nervous system. This means if you are having a hard time getting to sleep, feeling anxious or stressed, receiving touch can be incredibly soothing. This does not necessarily mean sex; it can be a cuddle, a back rub or another type of contact that feels best for you.

Reduces pain

Sex releases a hormone that increases our pain threshold, which can help with menstrual cramps, headaches, chronic back pain and even some arthritis pain.

Immune booster

In cold and flu season, I’m happy to try almost anything to keep those bugs away. Good news for my partner, because people who are sexually active have higher levels of the germ-fighting antibodies.

Increased libido

The more you have sex, the more you want it, and the more other people want to have it with you. You know that glow people are always talking about when you enter into a new relationship? I’m certain it has something to do with all the sex you are probably having (due in part to the hormone flood that happens), which we subconsciously pick up on and are attracted to.

Vaginal health

You know that saying “use it or lose it?” It is applicable to vaginas, especially once a woman has hit menopause. An active sex life means an increase in vaginal lubrication, blood flow and elasticity, which then leads to increased sensations. Also, regular orgasms are like weightlifting for your pelvic floor, so sexually active women will have the added benefit of stronger vaginal muscles and being rid of the pesky sneeze and pee. Women who don’t regularly connect with their sexual selves (either solo or with a partner) can in some cases experience vaginal atrophy (among other things), which will require some assistance to turn around.

Reduces risk of prostate cancer

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who ejaculated frequently (minimum of 21 times per month) were less likely to get prostate cancer.

Heart-healthy activity

It is no secret sexual activity increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping, but did you know a landmark study found that having sex lowers your systolic blood pressure? This lowers your chance of heart attack.

So, if you are looking for a resolution, a healthy sex life might be a good place to start. After all, wellness is not solely about getting to the gym five days a week or going on a diet. Wellness is about feeling good in your body and in your mind, and sexuality has a lot of positive contributions to offer in those departments.

Niseema Emery is a certified intimacy and relationship coach in Powell River.

Copyright © 2018 Powell River Peak

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