Sex: “natural fountain of youth”

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:

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.


  1. Anonymous on April 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I believe that good sex must trigger all sorts of hormones and other chemicals because I’ve seen the physical affects in my partners. Particularly when a new partner has informed me that she had previously gone some time without sex, the reintroduction of the activity into her daily life seems to reinvigorate her. I have noticed healthier skin, brighter eyes, and even a fuller bloom. Like all other living things, when we are getting more of the nutrients of life, we thrive.

  2. Eric Plasker on April 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Research often lags behind reality. I think your idea for the researchers is an excellent one and would probably prove that you are right. In the meantime, I suggest that you enjoy collecting anecdotal evidence, and you will enjoy a sensational century!

  3. Joan Price on April 3, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Paula, this is an excellent point. I’ve forwarded it to Dr. Plasker for his comment. Stay tuned for his response.

    — Joan

  4. paula on April 3, 2008 at 8:59 am

    “Rife with health and other anti-aging benefits, sex is pretty close to a natural fountain of youth. Regular intercourse can . . . .”

    Here we go again with the prejudice that the only “real sex” is intercourse. I’m getting really tired of this attitude which I think is androcentric, homophobic, and, if you really understand women’s sexuality, sexist. I’m also tired of the accompanying presumtion that we all of course want intercourse as the main feature of our sex lives and all have our best orgasms that way. That may be true for some people, but this sexual country club attitude leaves out many many people from the realm of the sexually active.

    I think the researchers should focus on the benefits of regular orgasms, not regular intercourse.

    Other than that, this rings true for me. Sex is — among many other things — one of my best health and beauty aids.

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