How to Have a Healthy Valentine’s Day: Have Sex! Sex is good for your health... here's what to know to stay in peak performance. BY DR. DUDLEY SETH DANOFF
Having sex is not just fun, but it's a healthy activity.
“ But for too many men and women, sex has become a worrisome task—a source of tension, a burden.”
Nothing is more wonderful for the human spirit, body, and mind than the free and uninhibited expression of sexuality. Nothing is more glorious than the joyful sharing of physical pleasure between two generous, enthusiastic human beings. A current plague of confusion and self-consciousness causes most men to have less sex than they would like, and they enjoy the sex they do have a lot less. Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to buck this trend.
The Health Benefits of Lovemaking
As a health benefit, sex should be a fun and relaxing part of your life, not a chore. It is certainly life’s cheapest luxury. But for too many men and women, sex has become a worrisome task—a source of tension, a burden. Sex is viewed as a problem to solve or a test to take. On the contrary, sex should be simple and natural, and it should bring a pleasure that erases worries, tensions, and burdens.
Using your sexual organs for the purpose nature intended not only gives you one of life’s great pleasures, but also provides excellent health benefits. Sex is good for your cardiovascular health, your mood, and your psychological well-being. It is a natural tranquilizer with no bad side effects. Sex also provides physical exercise and is excellent for overall fitness. It benefits circulation, stimulates the nervous system and the prostate gland, and clears up mental cobwebs by invigorating the whole body.
Men who are sexually frustrated tend to be tense and irritable, and they often seem angry at the world. Anger is an emotion to be avoided at all costs, as it has an adverse effect on your mental and cardiovascular health. But men who are sexually satisfied and feel good about themselves as sexual beings tend to have a positive outlook and a warm glow of health.
Contrary to certain myths, you cannot wear out your parts with sexual activity. There is no preset allotment of orgasms. Vigorous sexual exercise is best expressed with the childhood ditty, "Use it, use it, you cannot abuse it, and if you don’t, you’re gonna lose it."
Four Ways to Improve Your Sexual Health
The general condition of your mind and body is reflected in your sexual health. For that reason, it is vital to maintain a high level of mental and physical well-being. Here are some basic tips to improve your sex life:
Get fit and stay fit: A good exercise program is central to overall health and sexual fitness. It takes energy and strength to make love. The muscles of your arms, legs, back, and abdomen are all involved. Build up your muscle strength with weights, push-ups, sit-ups, yoga, or whatever exercise you prefer. You don’t have to be sculpted like a Greek god, but it is important to develop muscular strength and flexibility.
Commit to cardiovascular fitness: A vigorous half hour of aerobic exercise four or five times a week is recommended for developing and maintaining cardiovascular fitness. Physical inactivity leads to deterioration of your body as a whole. If you start wheezing or gasping for breath while making love, your body will get the message that you need to rest, and that is exactly what it will do.
Pay attention to what you eat: A diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber is the most effective diet for maintaining sexual prowess. Getting the proper amount of blood flow is essential to maintaining an erection, and sufficient blood flow depends on clean arteries. Do not gum up the works by ingesting saturated fats and bad cholesterol. If you have ever made love when you felt bloated or constipated, you know how much better you function when your digestive system is not overtaxed. Do not overeat—and make sure you consume plenty of fiber. Wining and dining can be romantic, but the romance withers if you overdo either one. Too much alcohol might increase your desire, but it will surely diminish your performance. Likewise, too much dining will make you feel sluggish, heavy, and tired.
Maintain weight control: Let’s face the truth—it is a lot easier to operate smoothly and vigorously in bed if you are not carrying a 20-pound belt of blubber around your waist. Not only are there health risks to being overweight, but for most women, a lean physique is much more attractive than a chubby one. But even more important than how other people see you is your perception of your body. Maintaining a healthy body weight encourages self-confidence and promotes a healthy and positive outlook on life.
In general, I have found that men with poor body images have some degree of sexual weakness. Men who are comfortable with their bodies and are content with their looks have a higher likelihood for super potency. Believe it or not, men with positive body images are not necessarily hunks. Some good-looking, well-built men have far worse body images than men with ordinary bodies. It is all a matter of how you see yourself. Some men are so insecure and vain that if they do not see a "Brad Pitt" when they look in the mirror, they hate their bodies and ultimately spread a pall of negativity on their self-esteem. Others are content with what nature gave them, as long as they stay in reasonable shape. Every man is capable of realizing his personal body-image goals. To start, set your standards of health and fitness, maintain a regular routine, and above all, have more sex!
Dudley Seth Danoff, MD, FACS, is president and founder of the Cedars-Sinai Tower Urology Group in Los Angeles, a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and the author of two books on men’s health.