Sex is just like cardio! Sex is exactly the same as working out!
This is something we’ve seen all over the Internet since…well, forever. People love to cast sex as being a killer workout, amazing for your relationship, the reason you won’t have a heart attack, etc. etc.
And we are here to tell you…
It’s true. Sex is very, very good for your health.
Is it as beneficial as going to the gym and getting your sweat on? It just might be. Well, almost. On top of that, sex has many other surprising health benefits similar to those that come with cardio.
OK, everyone. We’re here for this. Sex is the best, and going to the gym (or running, or yoga, or pilates, or whatever!) is also great. This is why sex and cardio are both excellent for your health.
Can sex really replace a cardio workout**?**
You may have seen studies that show a glass of red wine burns as many calories as the gym and how sex is the ultimate workout and thought, “All of this is BS and cannot be real.”
We’re still skeptical about the wine headlines (but will gladly use them as rationale when pouring a glass tonight), but when it comes to sex, studies have shown that it really is quite healthy. In fact, it burns nearly as many calories as being on the elliptical for 10 minutes.
A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows that sexual activity burns about 4.2 calories per minute in men and 3.1 calories per minute in women. In an average sex session, men burn about 120 calories and women about 70 calories. This is about the same as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise or a 20-minute walk.
So, next time you need an excuse to skip the gym, we can’t blame you if you decide to have sex instead. Who needs a crowded, sweaty workout facility when you can have an orgasm and burn the calories all in one go?
OK, we admit that sex might not be a gym replacement, but it is great supplemental exercise!
Sex releases endorphins, just like a workout
Another health benefit of sex? It helps our body release feel-good hormones and decrease stress hormones. When you get that heart rate up during sex, you see similar emotional benefits to getting a workout in.
When you have sex, and specifically when you orgasm, your body releases dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Dopamine is the brain’s motivation hormone. It makes you feel good and accomplished. Oxytocin is our body’s “love hormone”—it increases feelings of closeness and a need to pair bond.
Additionally, sex reduces levels of cortisol, the insidious stress hormone responsible for nearly everything that makes life suck. Cortisol increases anxiety, causes weight gain and can affect sleep. When you have sex, your cortisol levels drop dramatically, making you less stressed, more aroused, and sleepy (in a peaceful way).
Sex is great for sleep
We’ve all heard that going to the gym can relieve anxiety and help you sleep better. In fact, we’re sure you’ve experienced the benefits of exercise in your everyday life.
Those same gym benefits translate with sex in many ways (as you’ve seen above). When you work out, your brain releases happy hormones, just like with sex. These hormones naturally help with intermittent insomnia. There are studies to prove it!
If you orgasm before bed, your brain releases the same cocktail of hormone, with the added dose of oxytocin.
Basically, exercise gives you the endorphins to make you happy and relaxed, but sex adds in the wondrous snuggle hormone. So, when it comes to sleep and feelings of epic relaxation—sex wins.
Want to sleep really, really well? Go to the gym, come home, and then have sex. What could be more wonderful (and exhausting)? It sounds like a lot, but it works.
Sex and cardio both keep hearts healthy
When you have sex, the average heart rate is 130 during your peak moments. That’s about the same level as a light jog or brisk walk, depending on your weight and stride. This kind of exercise promotes healthy blood pressure and overall heart health.
See more: 7 Exercises for a Better Sex Life
See, you have to have sex or you’ll have a heart attack. Just kidding, obviously, but sex is good for the heart. Now, keep in mind you will have to put in the work with sex, just like you do at the gym. Sticking to that classic spoon is not going to get your heart rate up where it needs to be.
Mix it up. Get on top and ride like the cowgirl you always knew you could be. We believe in you. Overall, cardio is better for your cardiovascular health, but sex still has its benefits.
The ruling: Go to the gym and have sex!