POPSUGAR Fitness

Smooch, Snuggle, and Squeeze: Health Benefits of Being Affectionate

May 11 2014 - 2:30am

It's human nature to want to be close to the people we care about, but for the people we really love — well, it's hard to keep our hands off them! Keep reading to find out how all those extra hugs and kisses can benefit your health.

Front Page Image Source: Shutterstock [1]

Holding Hands

Whether you're not quite up to hitting home base with the person you're dating or you're too tired or not in the mood to get it on in that way, you can still reap the stress-relieving benefits [2] of good old-fashioned, G-rated hand-holding.

Kissing

Whether you're smooching a new fling or smacking lips with your long-term lover, kissing has tons of health benefits [3] besides just feeling good. It's a major stress reliever and gives your facial muscles a workout, which can make you look younger, and the saliva produced when french kissing can help prevent tooth decay. You'll even burn calories — 40 during a 20-minute kiss fest — and making out also boosts your immunity. Now that's more than enough reason to grab your partner and start necking.

Cuddling

Need a few reasons to head for cuddletown? Aside from releasing oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, cuddling can reduce stress and anxiety [4] and lower your blood pressure, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease. I'll hug to that!

Massage

Sharing back rubs can be just as intimate as having sex, and aside from easing sore muscles, massage reduces the levels of the stress [5] hormone cortisol, which eases anxiety and depression and can help lower blood pressure. A good rubdown can also help you sleep better, alleviate headaches, boost immunity, and offer relief for PMS symptoms. Now where's that massage oil?

Sex

Getting busy under the sheets offers a slew of health benefits [6] including stronger pelvic floor muscles, which not only increases pleasure, but also improves bladder control. Having an orgasm can relieve nasal congestion (that beats Benadryl any day!), and when the hormone oxytocin gets released, it can help you have a better night's sleep.

Regularly rolling in the hay (once or twice a week) can also boost your immunity and reduce your chance of catching a cold. And for the greatest benefit of all, women who have sex live longer than those who don't.


Source URL
http://www.fitsugar.com/fitness/Health-Benefits-Cuddling-Kissing-Massage-Sex-21675603