Sex is exercise
In 2013, Prof. Antony D. Karelis — along with colleagues from the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada — studied exactly how many calories we burn when we get our groove on.
Prof. Karelis explains in his article in the journal PLOS ONE that only a handful of studies have attempted to shine the spotlight on the physiological effects during partnered sex with human subjects. All previous studies showed an increase in heart rate.
For his study, Prof. Karelis worked with 21 heterosexual couples, aged between 18 and 35.
The couples were asked to have sex once per week for a period of 4 weeks, while wearing an activity tracker that allowed the research team to calculate how much energy they spent each time.
A sexual encounter included foreplay, intercourse, and at least one orgasm by either partner, then “ended at the couple’s discretion,” as the authors explain.
Here is what the team found.
Men burned on average 101 calories and women 69 calories when they had sex. The average intensity was higher than walking but lower than jogging, Prof. Karelis explains, putting it firmly in the category of moderate-intensity exercise.
This means that each time we have sex, it counts toward our 150 minutes of weekly exercise recommended by the HSS.
If that’s not appealing enough, the data revealed more.
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