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Sex as a Workout: Fact or Fiction?

As a clinician, I've heard it all when it comes to exercise. But one question that often comes up is whether sex can count as a workout. It's a little risqué, sure, but as doctors, we're here to provide you with all the information that leads to a healthier lifestyle.
First, let's look at the benefits of sex. Sex reduces back pain and increases core stability. Studies have also shown that sex can support immune function, lower levels of stress and blood pressure, and is linked with reducing the risk of heart disease. And, yes, there was even one study that suggested that people who have lots of orgasms can reduce mortality by up to 50 percent. So, it's safe to say that sex is good for your health.
But what about burning calories? Based on 13 studies on the topic, sex burns an average of 100 calories, with it typically ranging from 70 to 150 calories per person. Of course, the exact number can vary depending on factors like health status, position, duration, and other factors.
Now, before you start counting sex as your primary form of exercise, it's important to note that the average duration of sex in the studies ranged from 18 to 32 minutes. So, while it can certainly add to your daily calorie burn, it's not a substitute for a regular exercise routine.
But here's the good news: incorporating sex into your fitness routine can be a fun and motivating way to stay active. Plus, the benefits of sex on your physical and mental health are well worth it.
So, the next time you're feeling unmotivated to hit the gym, consider making time for some intimacy with your partner. Not only will it strengthen your relationship, but it can also contribute to your overall health and fitness goals.
Prescriptions available upon request. 
Brody, S., & Costa, R. M. (2009). Frequency of orgasm and cardiovascular risk. The American Journal of Cardiology, 103(9), 1336-1339.
Cobb, N. K., Graham, A. L., Bock, B. C., Papandonatos, G., & Abrams, D. B. (2010). Initial evaluation of a real-world Internet smoking cessation system. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12(3), 207-216.
Frappier, J., Toupin, I., Levy, J. J., Aubertin-Leheudre, M., & Karelis, A. D. (2013). Energy expenditure during sexual activity in young healthy couples. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e79342.
Herbenick, D., Bowling, J., Fu, T. C., Dodge, B., Guerra-Reyes, L., & Sanders, S. (2017). Sexual diversity in the United States: Results from a nationally representative probability sample of adult women and men. PLoS ONE, 12(7), e0181198.
Yaron Lohr, DC Clinic Director

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