As Valentine’s Day approaches, love, sex, and intimacy are most likely on your mind, but did you know that having sex can make you live longer and make your skin glow? 

Information on sex was pretty limited before the internet, but people got informed by radio show host and beloved late-night TV guest Dr. Ruth Westheimer. In Dr. Ruth’s show, Sexually Speaking, she came on the air to answer questions about sex and intimacy—truthfully—for people who were afraid to ask. One of her famous quotes is, “Don’t sit there and suffer. Don’t fake it. Do something about it.” That says it all. 

There is research and actual scientific evidence that not only supports Dr. Ruth’s controversial and hilarious banter on sex and intimacy, but prove that having sex can benefit relationships, health, and fitness! 

Recently researchers from the University of California in San Francisco found that being active between the sheets can increase the length of women’s telomeres. Telomeres are the end-caps of your chromosomes and shorten with age. Scientists say shortening telomeres contribute to more disease states and shorter lives. Longer telomere lengths are associated with longer lifespans according to several anti-aging studies. The University of California study was published in the scientific journal Psychoneuroendocrinology and analyzed the relationships and physical intimacy of 129 women in relationships. The researchers then took blood samples to look at the women’s telomere lengths and found that women that had sex at least once during that week had longer telomeres! 

Regular sex is, in fact, the best medicine for preventing life-threatening heart disease if you are a man. Scientists have found that making love several times a week can decrease levels of the common amino acid homocysteine. It’s normally present in blood, but high levels can damage the heart and brain. It is thought that frequent sex increases circulation and creates healthy blood vessels that remove homocysteine from the body…therefore curbing heart disease and Alzheimer’s. 

Sex can also make you look younger and hotter. Dermatologist Dr. Amy Weschler states that having more frequent intercourse helps release anti-inflammatory substances, oxytocin, and beta-endorphins—which have skin-healing properties. Sex can also increase estrogen levels and skin elasticity along with decreasing acne, lowering stress, and improving sleep. 

This Valentine’s Day work on increasing your longevity…and look hot while doing it! 

Dr. Susan Murrmann is an OB/GYN and co-founder of McDonald Murrmann Center for Wellness & Health. She graduated with a fellowship in anti-aging as well as functional and metabolic medicine. For more information call 901.752.4000 or visit MMCWH360.COM