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There is an intimate interplay between Sex & Fitness. For some, Sex inspires playful self-discovery and body awareness. For others it is Fitness that inspires this in their Sexuality. Many people become aware of their bodies when they are dealt a health challenge. When it comes to Sexuality, some become more aware when they experience heartbreak or sexual dysfunction.

Do not wait for health challenges or sexual dysfunction to become body aware. A healthy body and intimate communion with a partner are some of the greatest joys on this earth. Be conscious of what you put in your mouth and become aware of your body’s sexuality now, rather than before it is too late.

Emotional & Physical Health Benefits of Sex include:

Increased Vitality & Immunity. Sex is Exercise, especially good sex, conscious sex or tantric sex. Physical benefits of exercise include, increased hormone production, an increase in the capacity for breathing and better circulation. Better circulation brings more oxygen to the tissues, which in turn promotes body growth and repair. A less talked about benefit of sex is stimulation of the lymph system. Vigorous sexual activity will increase lymph production by 15 to 30 times. The lymph system is a major component of the immune system and when stimulated it will cleanse cells in the body. Thus increasing your health, vitality and longevity. Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibodies called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections.

Increase in Oxygen. Breathing properly and directing the breath is essential to reaching an increased level of health and the deepest possible intimacy and highest possible states of ecstasy. Breathing supplies necessary oxygen to your cells and frees emotions and sensuality. Fresh air will help the body absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. 90% of our energy comes from oxygen. The average person can live for approximately 30 days without food, three days without water but only three minutes without oxygen. During sex, deep breathing is one key to lasting longer, having more intense orgasms, and feeling more intimate. Which will have long lasting physical benefits.

Increased Security. From the moment we’re born, we need the touch of another person. Touch tells us that we are not alone in the world, that we are safe and loved. Throughout our lives, we never outgrow the need for that kind of touch. Sexual touch is the most intimate and unmistakable of these.

Increased Hormones. Sex releases endorphins – brain chemicals that induce feelings of happiness and well-being. These are the same chemicals that produce “runner’s high” when released during strenuous exercise. DHEA is the most abundant steroid in the body which is increased during sex as well. DHEA is a steroid precursor produced by the adrenal gland and converted to testosterone or estrogen by the body’s tissues. An increase in DHEA naturally will increase your metabolism, promote weight loss and it will stimulate increases in levels of sexual hormones, enhancing your libido, energy and immune function. Please be advised that the significance of hormones in health and disease is not fully established. I assume or assert that the information provided on DHEA and other hormones are true based on my studies and are beneficial to the human body when they are increased naturally. I do not recommend supplements. Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.

Decreased Stress & Lower Blood Pressure. Sex slows the body down. After sex you have the opportunity to feel the tingling and vibrations in your body. Sex will help you take the attention off your desires and frustrations and give you the opportunity to be grateful for what you have. It will help you find the happiness and peace inside you. It will take you from stress to relaxation. When the body is relaxed it will go from an acidic pH to an alkaline pH, which will keep your bones strong. An acidic body will naturally balance itself by leaching calcium from the bones making them brittle. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke.

Ettore Mazzei is the author of Fit & Sexed.