Exercise, among other weight-loss strategies, is key to losing extra fat around the abdominal area. However, there are many ways to exercise. For instance, sex has been proven to benefit the body in many ways, including supporting weight loss.
You burn a good amount of calories every time you and your partner engage in bedroom activities.
However, sex shouldn't replace time in the gym. It is one of several things you can add to your lifestyle to keep physically active.
How sex can help you reduce belly fat
How people lose weight differs from person to person. Experts say that, on average, men lose more weight than women during sex. Men can burn up to 101 kCal while women burn up to 69.1 kCal every 30 minutes of activity in bed (1KCal = 1,000 calories). This is because men have a higher lean muscle mass and a higher metabolic rate.
During sexual intercourse, your heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure go up. This is similar to what happens during cardio exercises such as running. The higher the heart rate, the more fat the body burns. So the more active you are in bed, the more weight you will lose.
Foreplay and sexual intercourse trigger the production of the hormone oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone, which is attributed to lowering stress levels and increasing bonds between people. During sexual intercourse, oxytocin levels shoot up, especially when you experience an orgasm.
Research on how oxytocin participates in weight loss suggests that an increase in this hormone can reduce food intake, particularly sweet carbohydrates, while increasing energy consumption.
It is important to note that oxytocin lasts about 2- 3 minutes after being released. The effect caused by the love hormone will eventually go away. Although short-lived, a temporary restraint on eating after sexual intercourse goes a long way in overall weight management.
Other health benefits of sex
In addition to losing weight, sex can also boost your immunity. The hormone oxytocin helps to reduce levels of the stress hormone called cortisol, keeping the immune system well-balanced.
People who have sex at least once a week benefits from increased antibody concentration, particularly immunoglobulin, an antibody that protects your body against disease-causing pathogens. A study conducted on 112 college students indicated that sexually active individuals had the highest levels of immunoglobulin in their systems compared to other control groups.
Although sex may not be as effective as a gym session, it is good for your heart and overall health. It is important to note that sex does not prevent heart disease. However, it plays an essential role in keeping your heart strong.
There are a lot of myths about sex that are false. Some people claim that sex can make your hips, thighs, and breasts grow larger. However, this is not true. There is no scientific proof supporting this claim. Young women who are sexually active and who experience physical changes such as broadening hips might think that it is because of sex. However, women’s bodies change through puberty, progressing into adulthood. This has nothing to do with sexual intercourse.
According to an article published in the Nature Reviews Disease Primers, regular sex, preferably engaged in once or twice a week, may help prevent the development of erectile dysfunction in the future.
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Sex and other health problems
While sex is free, fun, and a great form of exercise, individuals with heart disease have to be careful about how they approach sex. Sex rarely causes heart attacks in people who engage regularly. However, you should consult your doctor if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or indigestion after sex.
In addition to heart problems, people with high blood pressure may have some issues in the bedroom. High blood pressure damages your arteries by making them narrow and reducing blood flow in various parts of the body. This puts strain on the penis; maintaining an erection can become challenging. Fortunately, some high blood pressure medications can help cure erectile dysfunction.
Some chemotherapy treatments have side effects like fatigue and other hormonal changes. Unless you are not feeling up to it, there’s no need to avoid sexual intercourse if you have cancer. However, factors like the type of cancer you have or the type of chemotherapy you are receiving may impact decisions concerning sex. Consult your oncologist on how cancer and its treatment might affect sex.
Sex is completely safe during pregnancy unless your doctor says otherwise. As long as both partners are in a comfortable position, there’s no way you can harm yourself or your child. Sex will help you sleep better, lower your blood pressure, and elevate your mood as your pregnancy progresses.
Besides being a great source of physical and psychological satisfaction and enjoyment, sex can help you burn calories while creating special connections with your partner. While sex is an important aspect of life, it shouldn't replace your current cardio or workout routine.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cleveland Clinic: “5 Common Questions About Sex and Your Heart.”
Current Sexual Health Reports: “ Effect of Body Weight on Sexual Function in Men and Women.”
Havard Health Publishing, Havard Medical School: “Is sex exercise? And is it hard on the heart?”
Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Is Sex Dangerous If You Have Heart Disease?”
Mayo Clinic: “Chemotherapy and sex: Is sexual activity OK during treatment?”, “High blood pressure and sex: Overcome the challenges.”
Nature Reviews Disease Primers: “Erectile dysfunction.”
Nature Reviews Endocrinology: “The effects of oxytocin on eating behavior and metabolism in humans.”
Neuroendocrinology Letters: “Sexual activity during pregnancy.”
Planned Parenthood: “Is it true that having sex will make my hips, thighs, and breasts bigger?”
Plos One Journals: “Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples.”
SAGE Journals: “Sexual frequency and immunoglobulin A (IgA).”
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