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Is Sex Good Exercise?

Posting Date: 12/25/2000

Sex is good for your health. Most people enjoy sex for its own sake, but a recent study suggests that men who have sex at least three times a week cut their risk of a heart attack in half.

Researchers started out studying the benefits of vigorous exercise, looking at an activity lasting 20 minutes or longer and making the exerciser sweaty or out of breath. Most of the men they questioned thought that sex fit this description just as well as soccer.

This surprised the scientists, but they decided to study the issue. About 2,400 men in the town of Caerphilly in Wales were questioned about their habits, including how often they had sex?once, twice or three times a week or more. Then they were followed up for ten years. Those who reported the most frequent sexual activity were only half as likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack during that time.

The doctors conducting the study concluded that intercourse is good exercise. Other research has shown that even walking briskly for 20 minutes at least three times a week can help ward off such cardiovascular crises, so that explanation may be adequate. But there may even be something else at work.

A great deal of research points to the benefits of social interaction and social support in helping heart health. While many different types of relationships may be supportive, the relationship with a partner willing to engage in sex three times a week or more often is likely to be very close indeed.

Promiscuity isn't likely to have such health benefits. Japanese scientists recently announced that people engaging in adulterous relations were more susceptible to fatal strokes.

A loving and sexually fulfilling relationship is not always easy to achieve. People are so over-committed these days that taking time out of a busy schedule to enjoy sexuality may seem like a challenge. This is especially true for people on medications that may interfere with libido or the ability to climax.