Does Sex Count as Exercise?
A good romp in bed might leave you panting, but is it as good as getting exercise?
Researchers from the University of Quebec found that, in young and healthy people, a moderately vigorous session in bed can burn 4.2 calories a minute for men and 3.1 calories a minute for women.
For the study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers had 21 brave heterosexual couples ages 18 to 35 donned a fitness tracker named SenseWear. Each subject first had to complete a 30-minute jog on a treadmill to record how many calories they burned. Individual couples then went home and were instructed to get busy while wearing the sensors.
Results showed that most sessions lasted 25 minutes -- some as short as 10 minutes, others about an hour. Men also used more energy than women when having sex (men burned 101 calories on average, and women burning 69 calories).
"These results suggest that sexual activity may potentially be considered, at times, as a significant exercise," the researchers wrote.
Don't go replacing sex with exercise just yet. The participants' lovemaking session did not beat their calorie loss while jogging, where the men burned 276 calories, or 9.2 per minute, and the women burned 213 calories, or 7.1 per minute.
Basically, sex is about as good as a walk, but jogging is better. That said, there are many other perks to having a healthy sex life (via WebMD).
- People who have regular sex have better immune systems. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of a antibody that defends against germs and viruses, compared to students who had sex less often.
- Sex lowers your blood pressure. A landmark study found that "sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure," said Joseph J. Pinzone, MD, a CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.
- It's good for the ticker. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.
-Orgasms release a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold. "Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a service professor at Rutgers.
- Sex improves sleep. “After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness" after sex, said psychiatrist Sheenie Ambardar, MD.
Are YOU getting enough "exercise"?