Overview When you think about physical activity, running, hitting the weights, or even swimming may come to mind. But what about sex? You may have heard it before: Getting busy with your partner makes for a great workout. Is there validity to this claim?
Sex as a significant form of exercise is an exaggeration. It does get your blood pumping. But caloric expenditure from sex is not as high as many people think.
What does the research say? Several studies published in the last few years have discussed sex and calorie expenditure. One of them, from the University of Quebec at Montreal , studied 21 heterosexual couples in their early 20s.
Researchers tracked energy expenditure during exercise and sexual activity. They used armbands to track activity. Perceived energy expenditure, perception of effort, fatigue, and pleasure were also assessed after sexual activity. All participants completed a minute endurance exercise session on a treadmill at a moderate intensity to compare caloric expenditure.
Results showed that men burned calories 4. Women burned 69 calories 3. Mean intensity was 6. During the minute moderate-intensity treadmill session, men burned calories and women burned calories. Also, it was noted that perceived energy expenditure during sexual activity was similar in men and women when compared to measured energy expenditure. What do these results mean? The study says that a man weighing pounds would, at 3 METs, expend approximately 3. This level of expenditure is similar to that achieved by walking at a moderate pace approximately 2.
But the study says that the average bout of sexual activity lasts for only about six minutes. This means that a man in his early-to-mid 30s could burn approximately 21 calories during sexual intercourse. If you want to increase the benefit of your next round of sex, how can you up the amount burned?
Go longer Rationale follows that if you want to burn more calories, participate in sexual activity for a longer amount of time. Try different positions There is such a thing as a sex calculator.
For a woman who weighs pounds and her male partner who weighs pounds, the missionary position with her on the bottom for 10 minutes will burn 14 calories for her. It will burn 47 calories for him. If they were standing during sex with her in front, she would burn 30 calories and he would burn 51 in 10 minutes. Lastly, if he was holding her up for 10 minutes during sex, he would burn 65 calories and she would burn Besides caloric expenditure, sex has plenty of other benefits that improve your health.
Healthy heart According to an American Journal of Cardiology study , men who had sex at least twice a week were less likely to develop heart disease, as compared to men who only had sex once per month. Stress relief and better sleep After orgasm, hormones called oxytocin and prolactin are released. Both oxytocin and prolactin have strong links to satiety, relaxation, and sleepiness. Stronger pelvic floor muscles Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus. When they contract, these organs are lifted and the openings to the vagina, anus, and urethra are tightened.
Strengthening these muscles supports control over bodily functions such as urination. It can also increase the ability to achieve pleasurable sensations during sex. Bottom line Evidence varies on the number of calories burned during sex, but a safe estimate is 3 to 4 calories per minute.