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6 Health Benefits Of Sex

AOL Health     First Posted: 02/09/11 10:52 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET


By Ian Kerner, Ph.D

I often write about the benefits of a healthy sex life in this column, and my colleagues and I at Good in Bed are big champions of the importance of sex in maintaining a healthy relationship.

But there are some more surprising benefits of having sex, many of which are just beginning to be explored. An intriguing theme is emerging from the research: Not only does being healthy support your sex life, but sex actually supports your health.

So forget about an apple a day. To feel healthier, look younger, and live longer, an orgasm or two a week may be an effective -- and certainly enjoyable -- remedy.

Look Younger
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A long-term study of 3,500 people between the ages of 30 and 101 found that regular sex may shave between four and seven years off your physical appearance. Researchers at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland presented photos of the subjects to an impartial panel of judges, who were asked to guess their ages.

The people who were judged to be the youngest were also those who had the most sex. What's the connection between youthfulness and getting it on? In addition to boosting self-esteem and confidence, sex increases the production of human growth hormone, which is known to improve muscle tone.

More from Aol.Health:
8 Tricks to Add Years to Your Life
The Sneaky Reasons You're Not Losing Weight
Have Better Sex as You Age
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Ian Kerner, Ph.D, is a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author of numerous books for Harper Collins, including She Comes First and Love in the Time of Colic. He appears frequently on the TODAY Show and CBS Early Show and lives his wife and two boys in New York City. He holds advanced degrees from New York University and is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. For more, reach Ian Kerner at


Filed by Meghan Neal  |