home

How could we improve it?

close
chevron
This article contains false or inaccurate information.
chevron

Please tell us what was incorrect.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
This article doesn't provide enough info.
chevron

Please tell us what was missing.

wanring-icon
Please note that you do not need to fill this detail if it's inconvenient for you. Click Send My Opinion below to continue reading our site.
chevron
Hmm... I have a question.
chevron

We’re unable to offer personal health advice, diagnosis, or treatment, but we welcome your feedback! Just type it in the box below.

wanring-icon
If you're facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center.

Or copy link

New

Can Sex Significantly Improve Heart Health?

Can Sex Significantly Improve Heart Health?

Sex counts as physical activity and according to reports, it may even pass as a moderate exercise. But does sex have the capacity to improve our heart health? Can sex help prevent heart diseases?

Orgasms: Who Experiences More Pleasure, Males or Females?

Is Sex the Kind of Exercise That’s Good for the Heart?

We’ve already established that sex is a form of exercise, but to understand the connection between sex and heart health, we need to answer this question: Just how much physical activity do we get from sex?

You see, sex as a form of physical activity doesn’t automatically mean that it’s good for the heart. After all, you need to consider several factors such as the intensity, frequency, and duration of the workout.

John Hopkins Medicine reported three kinds of exercises that are good for the heart. They are aerobic exercises, resistance training, and exercises focusing on stretching, flexibility, and balance.

Sex is an Aerobic Exercise

It would appear that sex is like any other form of aerobic exercise.

Harvard Health even stated that, like aerobic exercises, sex raises the blood pressure, heart rate, and of course, the heart’s demand for oxygen.

To determine the level of activity we achieve from sex, some researchers conducted a study to see how sex increases the blood pressure and heart rate of people.

  • In the study, the investigators monitored the participants while they were on the treadmill. Then, they also monitored them while they were making love (penetrative sex with male orgasm).
  • They checked the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure. Later, they asked them regarding the level of exertion they experienced.
  • Results showed that the participating men did raise their blood pressure and heart rate during sex. However, the numbers were not as high as the ones they reached when they were walking on the treadmill.

Furthermore, when the researchers interviewed them about the level of exertion, the participants reported that sex was less strenuous than performing a treadmill workout. On the scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, the participants said that walking on the treadmill was 4.6, while sex was just 2.7.

Sex is Not Enough

Based on the study above about sex and heart health, we can conclude that sex is not as strenuous as walking on the treadmill. However, it still raised the heart rate and blood pressure of the participants. It may be lacking in intensity, but, as the others would say, it still does the job.

But, as it turns out, intensity is not just the only thing sex is lacking. It also appears to be lacking in duration and frequency.

Come to think of it, according to experts, to fully get the benefits of aerobic workouts, you need to have at least 150 minutes of moderate activity in a week. That means at least 30 minutes of exercise daily for at least 5 days a week.

The average sexual encounter lasts somewhere between 5 to 15 minutes. And of course, not all couples have sex every day.

With all these “disadvantages” of sex as a form of exercise, does it mean that it’s not good for the heart? Is there really a connection between sex and heart health?

Sex Health Questions We Are Too Embarrassed to Ask

Can Sex Help Prevent Heart Diseases?

Sex may not be able to replace your typical aerobic exercise, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not good for the heart.

In truth, researchers have discovered that men who only have sex once a month are more likely to suffer from heart diseases than men who have sex twice a week.

Additionally, it appears that women who report that they are happy with their sex lives are less likely to suffer from a heart attack.

While there are no studies yet to ascertain exactly how sex prevents heart diseases, researchers believe that it’s because of the other benefits of sex.

Health Benefits of Sex

It reduces stress

Doctors emphasize that long-term stress can result in increased blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure – all of which are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular illnesses. Additionally, stress can also lead to some changes that promote plaque buildup in the arteries.

The good news is that sex can reduce stress. This is because it releases endorphins – the chemicals we use to cope with stress and pain. Additionally, sex also releases other hormones that improve the mood.

It strengthens bonding

Sex promotes intimacy between partners. According to doctors, having strong social connections is essential as they can improve anxiety and depression as well as feelings of loneliness. These feelings are associated with higher cardiovascular disease risks like heart attack and stroke.

It promotes good sleep

Various reports and studies indicate that sleep deprivation increases a person’s risk of suffering from heart diseases.

Good thing that one of the benefits of sex is that it promotes sleep. Sex triggers the release of relaxing hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin – both of which help you fall asleep faster.

Additionally, having satisfying sex before bed could promote good-quality sleep because of the endorphins.

All You Need to Know About Heart Health

Final Thoughts on Sex and Heart Health

There’s no question that sex counts as physical activity; to be specific, it is a type of aerobic exercise. However, you cannot replace a routine workout with sex.

According to the study we had discussed previously, sex is less intense than walking on the treadmill. Furthermore, experts say that the average, typical sexual encounter doesn’t last long enough to obtain the heart-boosting benefits of aerobic exercises.

Still, sex brings about other benefits that can improve heart health, such as stress reduction, sleep promotion, and better intimacy.

In the end, don’t forget that taking care of your heart should constitute a holistic approach. Eat nutritious food, workout regularly, and have constant communication with your doctor.

Learn more about Sexual Wellness here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Exercise helps your heart
https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2FheartDisease%2FexerciseBenefit.html
Accessed September 11, 2020

Is sex exercise? And is it hard on the heart?
https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/is-sex-exercise-and-is-it-hard-on-the-heart
Accessed September 11, 2020

3 Kinds of Exercise That Boost Heart Health
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/3-kinds-of-exercise-that-boost-heart-health
Accessed September 11, 2020

Is Sex Good For Your Heart?
https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/patients-visitors/blog/is-sex-good-for-your-heart
Accessed September 11, 2020

Is Sex Dangerous If You Have Heart Disease?
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/is-sex-dangerous-if-you-have-heart-disease#:~:text=Studies%20suggest%20that%20men%20who,reduce%20stress%20and%20improve%20sleep.
Accessed September 11, 2020

Is Sex a Good Workout?
https://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/sexual-health/article/sex-good-workout
Accessed September 11, 2020

Why Sex Is Good for Your Health, Especially Your Heart
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-sex-is-good-for-your-health-especially-your-heart/
Accessed September 11, 2020

Does loneliness increase your risk of heart attack or stroke?
https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/behind-the-headlines/loneliness-and-stroke-or-heart-attack#:~:text=Your%20risk%20of%20stroke%20and,risk%20of%20having%20a%20stroke.
Accessed September 11, 2020

Picture of the authorbadge
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jun 04
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
x