Sex has many health benefits. It helps to release tension and stress and is positive for the cardiovascular system. But not only that, since, being a very physical activity, it can help you burn calories.
Having an active sexual life improves overall health. You just have to look at the benefits that orgasm produces to have a slight idea of the importance that sex can have on our health.
Specifically, orgasm is associated with better cardiovascular health and a better immune response . In addition, “the elevated secretion of oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins during orgasm makes us feel better and relax.”
Many studies have shown that having sex two to four times a week has other benefits such as improving mood or reducing stress. This is so because “ having sex causes us to release a series of hormones that have a positive effect on mood , such as DHEA, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins, which will make us feel more active and lively, while contributing to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, ” it increases self-esteem since it reduces cortisol levels, the hormone that we secrete in situations of tension or stress.”
On the other hand, we must not forget that sex is, in itself, a physical activity and that depending on the sexual practice that we carry out and the effusiveness or duration of it, this practice can become more or less beneficial in sports terms and can even help us burn calories.
” Coital relationships are the ones that most resemble mild-moderate exercise and would be the ones that can burn the most calories ,” says Rodríguez. In fact, the International Society of Sexual Medicine speaks of an average of between ” 200 and 400 calories per sexual encounter” , although recent studies indicate that the figures range between 100 and 69 , depending on the sex (male or female).However, as in any practice, a series of factors must be taken into account that, without a doubt, will influence the burning of calories, for better or for worse. “ Having a more active role during sexual intercourse, being a man or a woman, the duration of the sexual act, the weight of each member of the couple, age and fitness will undoubtedly influence caloric expenditure”, reports the expert. Thus, for example, “young people would burn more calories than older people during sex and this is so because, as a general rule, they are more vigorous.” According to Rodríguez, the average age at which more calories would be burned during sex would be around 25 years .
Regarding the differences between men and women, the reality is that they burn more calories than women. According to a study published in the digital magazine Plos One , “on average, men spend 100 Kcal, while women, 69 Kcal, during a sex session.” The authors point out that “for every minute of sex, men consume an average of 4.2 Kcal, and women 3.1 Kcal.” The explanation for this may be determined by the weight . “Normally, men weigh more than women, so they need more calories to perform the same exercise ,” Rodríguez points out.
For this study, sexual activity was defined as the onset of foreplay, intercourse, and at least one orgasm by either the man or the woman and ended at the discretion of the couple. Over a period of one month, couples were instructed to engage in one sexual activity per week at home . Thus, all the couples had carried out a total of 4 sexual activities and, at the same time, exercised on a treadmill for 30 minutes to compare one activity with another, in terms of physical effort.
Other data from the study was that only 5% of all participants reported that sexual activity was more strenuous compared to 30-minute treadmill exercise . 19% of them indicated that they were very fatigued and 7% reported a great expenditure of energy after sexual activity. Approximately 98% of all participants reported that sexual activity was more pleasurable than the 30-minute treadmill workout, 81% reported a high level of personal pleasure, and 79% reported a high level of pleasure from their partner after sexual activity l.
How much sex time do I need to burn calories?
As noted before, calorie burning will depend on many factors. Even so, as Rodríguez indicates, ” if sexual practice implies an exercise intensity greater than that of walking at 4.8 km/h but less than that of jogging at 8 km/h and if the average time in which men ejaculate in a sexual relationship is about 6 minutes”, according to his calculations, ” it would be necessary to have sexual relations daily for the loss of calories to be significant in comparison with a mild-moderate physical activity such as riding a bike taking a gentle walk or walking a time”.
And this is so because during sexual relations you can get to work all the muscles, yes, depending on “the position you have and the intensity”. What is clear is that the back and hip muscles are the most used.
Postures burn calories
As for which sexual positions can burn the most calories, Rodríguez believes that ” the position is not as important as the intensity of the act itself .” Although, as he indicates, “it is true that caloric expenditure data have been recorded in different positions, those in which the man or woman squats being the ones that consume the most calories.” The positions in which the partner is on top are also more energetic. On the other hand, adds Rodríguez, as far as men are concerned, “the position of the wheelbarrow and the one in which he stands with his legs semi-flexed while he grabs his partner by the waist are the ones that generate even more spending caloric”.