Endorphins on Top: Orgasms release a rush of hormones for college coeds and seasoned lovers alike, and endorphins are one of the cocktail’s main ingredients. Similar in chemical structure to morphine, endorphins can relieve pain, control the body’s response to stress, and even improve mood and alleviate depression. Continuing copulation can curb the blues for seniors, who suffer from depression more than any other segment of the population.
Healthy Loving: Rife with health and other anti-aging benefits, sex is pretty close to a natural fountain of youth. Regular intercourse can cut the chance of a heart attack or stroke by up to half, increase antibodies that boost the immune system, improve bladder control and regulate intestinal contractions, release minerals that prevent tooth decay, sharpen the sense of smell and reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Staying sexually active can increase both the length and quality of life.
Fitness Factor: Easier than running a marathon and more enjoyable than water aerobics, intimate activity is fantastic exercise for the elderly. Just being aroused can heighten heart rates and more than double a person’s pulse. Burned calories and tightened abs are well known side effects of sex. But indulging the libido can also improve posture and increase testosterone production, which strengthens bones and muscles. Plus, with the right moves this is one exercise that can go easy on arthritic joints.
Eric Plasker, D.C., author of The 100 Year Lifestyle (Adams Media; 2007), says that sexual activity is a vital part of health and happiness at any age. Americans are living longer than ever before, and Dr. Plasker offers three reasons why an active sexual life can help people live longer: