Why go to the gym when you can ‘work out’ at home?
It’s a new year and with that comes a whole new set of resolutions — hopeful goals that likely won’t last past the end of this month. But for now, we work hard to better ourselves and keep to our new strict regime.
The No. 1 resolution I hear this time of year, and it’s often from myself, is to lose weight with gym memberships surging this month and next. Yet for those who can’t stand sweating it out at the gym, the best form of physical activity may be lying right next to you.
A vigorous romp can burn as many as 200 calories per half hour, suggests Dr. Yvonne Fulbright, sexologist and author of such books as The Hot Guide To Safer Sex.
Not only can sex help whip your body into shape, it may also help you look younger. In a study at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, a panel of judges found participants who were having regular sex (about four times a week) looked seven- to 10-years younger than their actual age.
“(The hormones released during sex) contribute to a person’s skin, hair, and just looking better because … your self-esteem is being boosted,” adds Fulbright.
But this is not a licence to grab the next person you meet at the bar and starting counting off those calories. Being in a healthy and monogamous relationship is important. “It comes down to sexual health. When you know your partner, you’re more likely to do things like practice safer sex and be aware of your partner’s sexual history,” says Fulbright. “But (being in a monogamous relationship) is also going to boost the endorphins that are being released — just having that human connection is really important and you don’t get that from a casual fuck.”
Those endorphins, which act as a natural painkiller, can also help relieve some headaches and back pain. Keeping active in the bedroom can also help boost one’s immune system — with research showing people who are sexually active on a regular basis take fewer sick days.
Despite sex’s many benefits, finding the time is often the biggest hurdle. Some studies show people are having sex anywhere from two to five times a week. “The more the merrier,” says Fulbright, “but recognize that having sex breeds the desire to have more sex because it releases more testosterone in both men and women. Testosterone is what helps us out with sexual arousal.”
So perhaps keeping that new year’s resolution to lose weight won’t be so difficult after all.