As anyone who's ever failed to make it past the first month's attendance on an annual gym membership knows, actually fitting a regular workout into your daily routine is easier said than done. But there is one form of exercise that, done right, you're guaranteed to want to make time for. That's right, ladies, sex isn't only about pleasure; with a little energy and imagination it can provide a great workout too.
The naked truth
A good session in the sack burns approximately 150 calories for every 30 minutes you indulge – better than a yoga class (at approximately 115 calories) and the equivalent to a brisk half-hour walk. And it's not just the nitty-gritty of sex itself – snogging alone burns between 60-90 calories in the same timeframe (depending on just how 'French' your kissing gets), while a vigorous half hour of oral sex can add another 120 calories to your sexercise total. Indeed, according to the Kinsey Institute the average human loses nearly five pounds a year through having sex (while for those of you bemoaning the fact that you ain't getting any, an energetic masturbation session can reap similar rewards).
And the benefits aren't just calorific: sexual activity increases the flow of blood to your organs, flooding them – and the surrounding muscles and cells – with fresh oxygen and hormones and encouraging the removal of waste products as the blood is replaced. The rush of endorphins released by sexual pleasure has been found to help relieve stress, alleviate minor pain and boost the immune system. It's even claimed that sex can help lower your cholesterol levels. You might never need to visit the doctor again!
To get the most of out of a session, however, you need to do a little bit more than lie back and think of the homeland – heavy breathing alone does not an effective workout make.
A full 22 per cent of couples admit to only ever having sex in the missionary position, but for maximum workout potential, creativity's the name of the game. First and foremost, get active – regularly changing sex positions keeps you moving, which equals more calories burned. As a rule of thumb, any position that puts you in equal or greater control of the session – and therefore in control of the energy you're expending – is good.
To target specific areas of the body, think about what a position involves. Being on top is pretty obviously going to get those thighs working. But to really go for the burn, take your weight into your feet rather than just your knees and use the muscles in your thighs and bum to control your thrusts, leaning back onto your hands to work the upper arms as well. The idea is to use as much of your body as possible: arch your back and work those hips – anything to get those calories burning while toning up specific body parts.
It's a win-win situation: as you become fitter and more agile you can get even more creative. Before you know it you'll be balancing on one toe, legs akimbo, arms swinging recklessly on a chandelier. OK, so maybe that's a little too Samantha Jones for most of us, but the point is to get involved and, most of all, to enjoy it. Your body (and your ever-grateful partner) will thank you for it.
5 – 10- 2011
London, Jan 18 (ANI): A new study has revealed that a great sex life will not only help you feel and look younger - it will also help you live longer.
Dr Eric Braverman, an anti-ageing expert from the US, has written a new book 'Younger (Sexier) You,' in which he says that sex not only raises your hormone -levels (so keeping you young), but can also boost your metabolism, brain function, heart health and immunity.
Braverman says that coffee can help boost a flagging libido, while snacking on peanuts can enhance arousal, reports the Daily Mail.
Eating brown rice can help combat sexual coldness, while avocadoes might increase your capacity for pleasure.
Braverman also points to a study by Queen's University in Belfast that suggested having sex three or more times a week reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke in men by half.
Orgasms are thought to fight infection - increasing the number of infection-fighting cells by up to 20 per cent.
A recent study also found that greater sexual activity in older men might protect them against prostate cancer.
According to the doctor, the best aphrodisiacs are asparagus, bananas, cabbage, celery, figs, oysters and sea veggies.
But it's not just about the mechanics of sex. Healthy sexual function is also about how your brain reacts to the messages it's receiving from your body, he adds.
When your brain is working at its peak, brain chemicals are produced and dispersed at the correct levels. A reduced sexual desire can apparently be the first sign there's a problem with one of the four key brain chemicals - dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin.
The following spices can also boost dopamine levels: basil, black pepper, cayenne, chilli peppers, cumin, fennel, flax seeds, garlic, ginger, mustard seed, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon and turmeric.
Spices good for boosting acetylcholine include allspice, basil, cumin, peppermint, sage, thyme and turmeric.
Alcohol increases GABA -levels, but make sure you stop at one or two glasses a day - a man might not be able to maintain an erection and a woman could nod off.
Good antidepressant spices for serotonin include anise, dill, marjoram, nutmeg, peppermint, saffron, spearmint and turmeric. (ANI)
5 – 10 - 2011