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8 Reasons Sex Improves Your Health

Research shows that frequent lovemaking can increase a man's longevity

7.  It takes your mind off pain. Sex reduces pain in two ways. First, it's an enjoyable distraction. During sex, people focus less on aches and pains — and as a result, suffer less. In addition, sex releases endorphins, the body's own pain-relieving compounds.  Dr. James McKoy, a rheumatologist in Honolulu, recommends regular lovemaking to help control arthritis pain.

8. It may prolong your life. Immune enhancement, deep relaxation, lower blood pressure, and less risk of prostate cancer and heart attack are all associated with longer life. Could regular sex extend life? Yes, according to British scientists at the University of Bristol, who studied 900 middle-aged men. Compared with those who had sex once a month or less, those who reported it twice a week had half the death rate.

But does sex increase longevity? Or is sex merely a marker for better overall health, which enhances longevity? The researchers contend that sex is a key element. Comparing men with low, medium and high sexual frequency, the researchers found no significant differences in age, smoking, weight, blood pressure or heart disease, all of which have major impact on health and longevity. The only real difference was the men's sexual frequency.

The researchers' conclusion: Sex helps prevent death in middle-aged men.

Of course, no one makes love simply because it enhances health. But the health benefits can make sex feel more fulfilling. And if you enjoy music while making love, play "Sexual Healing." It's a catchy tune — and it's true.

Michael Castleman answers sex questions for free at GreatSexAfter40.com.

Also of interest: Men's secret sex problem. »

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