Sex can help maintain a healthy relationship. It boosts connection and physical health but your position between the sheets may give more benefits.
Experts said those who do more on top are more likely to burn more calories. Studies also showed that people in such position could enjoy both pleasure and calorie loss since they can boost the physical intensity of sex.
Researchers first described sex as light-to-moderate exercise in a 1984 paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Several studies then came in the next decades showing how intimate times in bed could support health, from improving the immune system, blood pressure to weight loss.
A 2013 study provided a more detailed benefit of sex in men and women. Researchers from the University of Quebec in Montreal found that during foreplay, intercourse and orgasm men could burn 101 calories while women lose 69.1 calories, Business Insider reported.
If the sexual sessions last longer, the team said sex may cut an average of 4.2 calories per minute in men and 3.1 calories per minute in women. However, things may change based on who works more in bed.
People on top usually do most of the movement, helping them expend more energy and experience higher calorie loss. Breaking a sweat is a good indication that the body is giving more effort, according to Antony Karelis, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Quebec.
But couples can enjoy the same benefits of sex by taking turns. The one who wants to burn a few more calories should take charge and get on top.
Karelis said some studies suggested that having sex regularly could also reduce the risk of heart disease. And aside from getting on top more often, he added that those who experience orgasms regularly are more likely to live longer.
To further boost the health benefits of sex, people should do some exercise with their partner before getting intimate, according to Debby Herbenick, a professor of sexual and reproductive health at the Indiana University School of Public Health. She said exercise can enhance arousal, which adds to the pleasure and better sexual experience.
Karelis said he hopes to see more studies in the future that would explore the health aspects regarding sex, especially calorie expenditure.