As Jane Fonda, 71, reveals it’s her secret anti-ageing weapon – despite an artificial knee and hip – here’s why sex really is the best medicine of all.
WHY SEX MAKES YOU…LIVE LONGER
Keep your heart healthy
Lots of studies have found that far from bringing on a heart attack, regular sex can actually ward them off. One study at Queens University in Belfast found that having sex three times a week could halve your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Strengthen your immune system
Having sex once or twice a week has been found to raise your body’s levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from viral and bacterial infections. According to one study, people who have sex more than once a week had 30% higher levels of IgA than those who abstained.
During sex, the natural steroid DHEA is secreted throughout the body and after an orgasm the level in the bloodstream soars to five times its normal amount. Known as the anti-ageing hormone, high levels of DHEA are thought to keep your body fitter and disease-free, helping you to live longer.
It can cut your risk of dying young
An Australian study found that people who had an orgasm at least three times a week had a 50% lower chance of dying from any medical reason than those who only climaxed once a month.
Knock off 10 years
Couples who have sex at least three times a week look more than a decade younger than people who make love less often, according to consultant neuro-psychologist, Dr David Weeks, who did a 10-year study on the subject. Shift middle-aged spread Thirty minutes of sex burns up to 150 calories per half-hour, which is equivalent to a small glass of wine. If you have moderately active sex twice a week, you’ll burn an extra 15,600 calories a year! It makes you more attractive High sexual activity makes the body release more pheromones, chemicals that enhance your appeal to the opposite sex. This is why the more sex you have with your partner, the stronger your desire to have sex with them again. Lose your wrinkles The hormone oestrogen is pumped out during sex, which can have a plumping effect on skin, helping to smooth out fine lines. After the menopause skin can become drier and more wrinkled, as oestrogen levels drop – something research shows regular sex might combat.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA