5 Surprising, Research-Backed Tips for Better Sex

better-sex

Turns out, better sex could be just a good night’s sleep (or good deed) away.

That’s according to a few of the many research studies that shed light on surprising ways to boost your sex life. (Thanks, science!) Don’t worry, none of them have anything to do with expensive lingerie, massage oils, or candles.

RELATED: 3 Calming Essential Oils To Keep on Hand

Your sex life, by the way, impacts your overall health in many ways, so it’s in your best interest to find pleasure as often as possible. (That’s why “Love More” is an important pillar of a Nutritious Life.) Go ahead, get busy (reading, obviously).

Surprising Tips for Better Sex

  1. Don’t skimp on sleep. A very recent study found that among older women, those who got more sleep were more likely to have satisfying sex lives. And this will blow your mind: past research has shown having sex may help you get to sleep, too. In other words, you should probably get started on the most amazing life ever—a never-ending perfect sex-sleep cycle.

RELATED: 6 Tips for Better Sleep

  1. Don’t go at it like rabbits. For those in long-term relationships, one study found that while more frequent sex leads to a more satisfying sex life, that benefit is not significant once couples have sex more than once a week. So if you’re doing it once a week, don’t stress about upping the frequency; focus on quality. (Of course, if you’re having high-quality sex every. single. day… please, don’t let us stop you.)
  1. Make gym time a priority. Past studies have shown that for women, vigorous exercise can increase blood flow to the genitals, which in turn increases arousal. Hurry home after that HIIT class, k?

RELATED: Why You Need to Start Doing Kegels, Now

  1. Do chores with your partner. Admittedly, we wish this one said “have your partner do all of the chores for you.” (You could try that approach and then the chores will be done, and who even cares about sex?) But a recent study found couples who divide housework evenly reported having the most frequent and satisfying sex.
  1. Be nice. Really, it’s that simple. One study found that people who behave altruistically (you know, like a human you want to be around) have more sex. Don’t worry, you don’t have to keep it going once you’re in bed…if nice is not exactly a word you’d use to describe your style is between the sheets.
10 Reasons Why Orgasms are Good for You

orgasmOrgasms aren’t something we talk about as often as smoothies here, but let’s face it, they are equally exciting AND healthy.

Loving more is part of a nutritious life and I’ve always believed that sex is uber important when it comes to wellness, but did you know there’s a whole lotta science going on under the sheets?!

Yep, there’s many lucky people studying the benefits of sex and the horizontal mambo, and knowing there’s research promoting a roll in the hay is just great for the entire human race.

There are many bits and pieces to a good romp (ha!), but today I’m focusing specifically on what we know about orgasms.

Proof Orgasms are Good for You:

Orgasms may help heal your cold faster. No joke. A study out of Germany found that men who masturbated had increased adrenaline and prolactin levels and a higher number of leukocytes. Translation: they’ll end up using less tissues for the sniffles if they use more time by themselves…

So, the next time you take a sick day, spend some of it awake and aroused to get you back in action faster. You’re probably be spending that day in bed anyway, so make.it.work.

Another fun orgasm fact? Research found that orgasms are good for the brain. Scientists at Rutgers University hooked women up to MRI machines to study blood flow to the brain while they masturbated. They found that blood doesn’t only flow to the nether regions, but also to the brain, which gets flooded with nutrients and oxygen in the process.

So next time you need to cram for a test or nail a presentation for work, spend a few minutes…relaxing…first.

Adding to the explosion of orgasm research (pun intended), The American Journal of Medicine published findings that sexual satisfaction improves, yes, IMPROVES with age in women. Hallelujah! May we all live to be sexually satisfied octogenarians! {Tweet this!}

For the men, taking care of your lady helps you, too. The OM center is a practice club that focuses on the female orgasm. Apparently, when partners focus on the female orgasm, men report having better focus in other areas of their lives, such as work. So if your man really needs to have a good day at work, he needs to be sure to give you a good morning. Like, a really good morning.

Of course, orgasms are also linked to losing weight, looking younger as we age, living longer, getting rid of pain, fighting insomnia and better sleep.

So, if it’s been awhile since you, you know, then I hope I’ve given you reasons to well, you know. Orgasms are healthy. They do a whole lotta good stuff to your body, and you don’t even need a partner to have one.

 

One Surprising Reason to Have a Healthy Sex Life

healthy-sex-lifeI talk a lot about having a healthy sex life and the benefits of sex, but today’s reason might surprise you.

Did you know that having sex improves your sense of smell?

After sex, there is a surge in the production of the hormone prolactin, which causes your brain’s stem cells to form new neurons in the olfactory bulb, also known as the brain’s smell center.

Why am I talking about this? Well, you know I always support having a healthy sex life, because research shows it’s a best way to lose weight.

And we know that how well you can taste your food is tied to how well you can smell.

Research also shows that there are certain aromas that will actually curb your appetite. So, the more sex you have, the better your ability to smell these foods, the more weight you may be likely to lose!  Now if that’s not a beautiful trifecta of benefits, I don’t know what is.

 

How a Healthy Sex Life and a Better Sense of Smell Relate

 

One study showed that strong aromas can cause you to grab a smaller forkful of food, so think chiles and onions if you need a little help in the not devouring-your-meal department.

Another study found that the smell of bananas and green apple can actually curb your appetite, so reach for a whiff of these when you’re trying to lessen the amount of times you open the pantry door every afternoon. Licorice works well here, too.

Grapefruit has been shown to lower appetite and weight. I love having my clients eat half of a grapefruit with cinnamon as a snack when they are cleansing or trying to lose weight.

And here’s a fun fact: my mom started dinner every night with a half grapefruit on all of our plates. I have no idea why, and it had nothing to do with weight loss, but there is a special place in my heart for these citrus powerhouses.

So, back to why I originally started writing this. You should have more sex. It’s part of a Nutritious Life, and there are so many other benefits we didn’t cover here today. Clients always raise their eyebrows when I ask them about sex in our nutrition counseling sessions but it truly does have a place in a nutritious life.

I don’t want the private details – I want to know they are using it as a secret weapon to manage stress, burn some calories (sexercise, anyone?), and in the end, lose more weight. See, it’s not all about the food.

 

Sexercise: Why You NEED to be Doing It

sexercise

Sexercise. You either just blushed when I said it, or you already have your pants unbuttoned. No judgement either way, but, full disclothesure (ha!), I’m going to try to convince you to get comfy with the concept.

I may not be Dr. Ruth, but this I know: A healthy sex life is an important part of living your most Nutritious Life. Is it as important as eating empowered, sleeping deep, stressing less and all of my other pillars? You bet.

Sex is good for you. It helps you recover from stressors better, strengthens your immune system, benefits your heart health and lowers blood pressure. Need more sex benefits?

Sex prevents prostate cancer in men.

It prevents bladder cancer in women.

It’s a mood booster.

It’s a pain alleviator.

It can help you lose weight.

It can help you look younger and sleep better.

And the one tiny detail we don’t focus on enough is that sex is actually a form of exercise as well. It strengthens muscles and burns about 3 – 4 calories per minute, kind of like biking at a light to moderate pace. So if you haven’t been biking because your tire is flat or your chain is loose or your handlebars are rusty, no more excuses. You don’t even need a bike.

There’s plenty of sexercise apps out there to help you calculate your, er, expenditure and keep track of your favorite ways of expendituring. Yep, there’s an app for that.

There’s a sexercise website devoted to helping you and your partner record those passionate calories burned and it even plots it on a graph for all you visual learners out there. It also tells you the equivalent exercises that would have burned the same amount of calories, and how many ounces of that glass of red wine you burned off.

There’s probably alot of other resources out there but I don’t want to get you in trouble if you’re reading this while at work. You can do that research on your own.

Speaking of research, it tells us that the more lovin’ you get in, the more lovin’ you’ll enjoy. It’s a self-fulfilling wellness wheel that you should climb on responsibly. Basically, sexercise should fit neatly sometime between waking up and falling asleep, like brushing your teeth or checking your email. If you tend to brush your teeth or check your email alot, bonus.

Most of us just think of the fun side of sex, not the fact that it’s actually good for your health. I’m not telling you to skip your morning run, or that you don’t need the spin class. I’m just saying that maybe it’s time to enhance your workout with a little between the sheets cross training.

Now stop blushing, keep unbuttoning your pants, and get your sexercise on.

 

4 Benefits of Sex You Need to Know About

benefits-of-sex

Q: I’ve heard one benefit of sex is weight loss. Is it true?

A: I’m an open book, put it all out there kind of person with most things. But I am not a ‘hey peops, let’s chat about sex’ kind of free spirit.

Sex is personal and everyone has different boundaries with this topic.

However, the benefits of sex are so important that I refuse to let my own bit of – shall I say – awkwardness keep me from spreading the love more message…and discussing sex (consensual with your partner type) with my clients.

Sex is part of everyone’s wellness.  “Love More” is a pillar of Nutritious Life for this very reason, lovin’ is great for your body.

It is the yin (oxytocin) to the yang (cortisol) of stress.

It’s the 3 day food cleanse that recovers you from a food coma. {Tweet this}

It helps you escape from the negatives in life, and fills you with feel good. I want you to feel good. Feeling good helps to motivate you to make healthy decisions in all areas of your life.

So, let’s talk about sex and how it can truly help you live your most Nutritious Life.

Here Are 4 Benefits of Sex You Should Know About:

Sex is a best way to lose weight, which is why I always discuss it with my clients! I know, not the conversation you think you’ll be having when meeting with a nutritionist…right? Well, cortisol is a hormone that makes your body hold onto weight around the middle, and the best way to reduce cortisol is with its arch nemesis, oxytocin. How do you produce more oxytocin? You guessed it: by having sex. Cuddling, by the way, helps produce oxytocin too.

Orgasms help chill you out, which also helps you achieve a healthy weight! We could allllll use a little relaxing, after all. So how do orgasms magically do this? Once again, through oxytocin. Oxytocin floods the body with relaxation messages after orgasm, and lowers anxiety and the brain’s natural resistance responses. A big oh becomes a big ahhhhh…

Sex is good for your wellness. It prevents cancers, strengthens your ticker and even improves your immune system. You knew snuggling could lead to, well, you know. But did you know it could lead to fighting diseases? If you’ve ever worried about being a superhero in bed, stop worrying. Your heart thinks you are the best.lover.ever.

Sex improves your sense of smell. After sex, there is a surge in the production of the hormone prolactin, which causes your brain’s stem cells to form new neurons in the olfactory bulb, also known as the brain’s smell center. Not only is your sniffer gonna thank you, but now you have a fun fact to share at your next cocktail party.

Well, I think I’ve covered all the bases (get it? bases? sex joke? ha!). Eat a healthy diet, hit the gym, make love, repeat. And don’t worry if you only have time for a quickie. The benefits of sex last way longer. 🙂

How Sex Can Help you Lose Weight

lose-weight

Today I’m talking about why steaming it up between the sheets is good for you and helpful to the fitification (I just made that up) of your body.

My goal isn’t to make you blush here.

In all honesty, I’m a huge believer in the role of sex, touching and cuddling when it comes to health and wellness, but I don’t chat about it as regularly as I talk about the benefits of omega-3s, hydration and antioxidants with my clients or students.

So, I’m sayin’ it here and I’m sayin’ it now: go have sex to lose weight, peops! {Tweet this}

Cortisol is your stress hormone, often called the fight-or-flight hormone, that wreaks havoc on your health, makes your body hold onto weight around the middle and contributes to illnesses.

If cortisol is the villain who comes out when you’re running late, arguing, pressured or otherwise overwhelmed, do you know who the hero is? Oxytocin.

Do you know how you get oxytocin to rescue your damaged bod? That’s right. S-E-X. Sex.

You need to get rid of excessive cortisol in your body to shuck your weight and a romp with your boo is a great way to do just that.

While I’m talking up the superhero powers of oxytocin, magic from this powerful hormone helps you to sleep like a babe as well, which also happens to be another great way to lose weight!

Sex is also great for your body image. It’s hard to hold on to negative feelings about your body when someone’s lovin’ it. {Tweet this}

It’s also motivating to stick to your healthy ways when you know you’re gonna be naked with somebody.

More than that, it seems as though sexual pleasure is greater in leaner peops. Overweight and obese people struggle more with lower testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction and performance difficulty.

You know how you’re significant other always wants you to look and feel your best? Time to prove it. Instead of Netflix and the popcorn between you two on the couch tonight, bust out your satin jammies and look forward to turning in early!

 

Sex and Your Health

 

Underwear Hanging on a Clothesline

I am an open book, put it all out there kind of person with most things, but I am not a ‘hey peops, let’s chat about sex’ kind of free spirit.

Sex is personal and everyone has different boundaries with this topic.

Even though it isn’t the most comfortable of all the things I chat about, I think it is super important and I refuse to let my own bit of awkwardness keep me from spreading the message encouraging healthy, consensual, pleasure pursuing grown up sex.

Sex is part of everyone’s wellness.

As a matter of fact, “Love More” is a pillar of Nutritious Life for this very reason.

Let’s get some love in the air.

It’s February, friends! Before you do some sweet talkin’ or dirty talkin’ to your Valentine, you might want to know why sex is good for you and your lover. {Tweet this}

I’m a big sex lover because lovin’ is great for your body.

It is the yin (oxytocin) to the yang (cortisol) of stress.

It’s the 3 day food cleanse that recovers you from a Super Bowl food coma. {Tweet this}

It helps you escape from the negatives in life, and fills you with feel good. I want you to feel good. Feeling good helps to motivate you to make healthy decisions in all areas of your life.

I was going to tell you sex is good for weight loss, and weight loss is good for your libido, but I already wrote about it here.

I was starting to write something about the benefits of orgasm, but I realized I’d already written about it here.

Then I was about to tell you that sex is good for your wellness. It prevents cancers, strengthens your ticker and even improves your immune system, but you’ve read that already. 

So, I thought I’d give you an idea about how to get your partner all hot and heavy for you, but I already blogged about that, too.

In fact, I think you’ve seen this one, and this one, and this one, too.

Well, I think I’ve covered all the bases (get it? bases? sex joke?). Give this last blog a quicky before you fall into your post-sexytime sleep. I guess I’m not as shy about sex as I thought.

Ode to Mom

Mothers Day Roses

I loved this so much that I am sharing it again . . . Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!

One of the perks of having your own business is that you get to choose (to some extent) the people who you surround yourself with on a daily basis.  I am continually inspired by spending time with my colleagues, who I am lucky to also call friends.  I have asked some of these great women who work with me at Nutritious Life to take a moment to reflect on Mother’s Day.  Their answers speak to some of the pillars that are the foundation of a Nutritious Life. I hope these words inspire you as you recognize and honor the women and mothers in your life, this Mother’s Day.

Tiffany: Eating Empowered

As a mom of a preschooler, people ask me if my daughter eats healthy because I’m a nutritionist.  The truth is, she’s a typical kid who loves her sweets and struggles to get in green vegetables.  When I was in grad school studying nutrition I had very strong ideas about how I would feed my child when I became a mother…and then I actually had a child.  She is her own person and has her own likes and dislikes.  She does like a lot of healthy foods, but it is a daily, ongoing attempt to get her to try new foods.  I just try to expose her to these wonderfully healthy foods as much as possible, so at the very least she recognizes them (she can identify kale and avocado even if she hasn’t quite yet learned to like them).  She helps me assemble my salads, we go to the farmers’ market together, and she knows all about vitamins A, B and C and how they make her body healthy.  I keep telling myself that I was picky as a kid and grew up to love vegetables, so there’s hope for her, too. So, on Mother’s Day we will enjoy one of our favorite weekend activities together…cooking whole wheat pancakes.  She gets on the step stool and helps me measure and mix the batter, and we occasionally add some fruit to bump up the nutrition.  But let’s be honest, for my daughter it’s not about the whole grain goodness; it’s really all about the syrup.

Amanda: Stress Less

Growing up, my mom always taught me to STRESS LESS. I’ve always had a tendency to stress about things that were out of my control or that really weren’t worth stressing about. My mom has a saying: “Is this tragic or merely inconvenient?” Putting the problem into perspective and knowing that I can deal with the “inconvenient”, and helping me come up with a plan always helped me stress less, and is a phrase I often repeat to myself today when something arises. To return the favor, my mom and I spend Mother’s Day indulging in a relaxing spa day each year.

Lara: Sleep Deep

As the mother of two little girls, almost 4 and 20 months, sleeping in doesn’t happen often. Since our eldest child was born, my husband makes Mother’s Day a special day for me beginning with a lazy morning in bed. It’s amazing what a little extra sleep can do for my overall mood and energy. It sets me up for an amazing day with my family. In fact, just the idea of knowing I can stay in bed is enough for me. On Mother’s Day, like most days, I just want snuggle with my girls and get lots of hugs and kisses. Being a mother is the greatest gift in the world. And a little extra sleep doesn’t hurt!

Michelle: Pamper Thyself

Mother’s day is a traditional day in my family where for as long as I can remember, the day is all about embracing, valuing, and pampering my mom, grandmothers, aunts, and all mothers in the family alike. For brunch, my dad’s side of the family would gather around my grandmother over an abundance of middle eastern Persian cuisine and tell jokes, pastime stories, and sing happy mother’s day songs in Persian, Hebrew, and English. My cousins and I would create small gifts of hearts and poems to distribute to our mothers, giving them hugs, kisses, and unforgettable keepsakes. Then for dinner, we would do the same exact thing with my mother’s side of the family. As I grew older, my gifts became more sophisticated from a scribble of love to a spa date. It is a big day of appreciation and acknowledgement for all mothers do – so do a little something extra to pamper all the mothers out there, including yourself! No matter how old you get mom still loves the hand written heart shaped poems – a keepsake that she can always turn to for happiness and smiles. This Mother’s Day pamper mom with written love whether that is a beautiful poem, note, engraved poetry art, or a handmade scrapbook/collage, it will be sure to keep her smiling and feel loved and appreciated for more than just one day!

Stacia: Sex Ed

I don’t really like to be the center of attention. It makes me nervous. I have tried repeatedly to make Mother’s Day about my mother or mother in law – pampering others is much more my style. But, with 3 amazing kids, I have no choice but to succumb to their doting. Really, it is like bizzaro day. Instead of making 5 breakfasts, lunches and dinners, cleaning up and managing the household, my family takes charge. Behind it all is my husband, who plans, orchestrates and organizes breakfast, my kiddie “rock concert” and barbecue or picnic. There is nothing sexier to me than watching the man I adore (after 12 years 6 moves, more than 10 jobs between us, sickness and health) make super-daddy-egg-sandwiches, and actually clean up. On Mother’s Day, it is not lost on me that the honor of being called mumma is really because of the man I love.

Cheers to another year of parenting! I hope you are honored, pampered and rested in celebration of all your hard work.

Labor of (Self) Love

Coffee On A Rainy Day
Some people are really into the New Year’s resolution thing, but I’m not a huge believer in the once a year promises – I try to make small goals for myself and work at them often. While I try to start each year fresh, Labor Day really inspires me to reevaluate what I want from my year. I’m not going to chat you up with back-to-school rallying. I will not stress you out with talk of changing your wardrobe and breaking out the boots. I really want to speak to your (and my) personal goals on this Labor Day holiday.

I want to ask you to be a partner with me as I lay the foundation for the upcoming academic year. I like to look at the mission of my private practice and make sure that I’m practicing what I preach. I need to keep my work fresh, so sitting down to do this is super important to me.

There are 8 key elements to my philosophy – I call them the “pillars” of Nutritious Life. I’m going to lay them out for you. There is a bullet with MY goal to correspond with each pillar and I have left one bullet for you in each category to add your goals. Remember to keep your goals simple and attainable. You have reached your goal if it has become a habit; at that point, set a new goal for yourself.

Eat empoweredFeel empowered putting the most nutrient rich food in your body. It’s not “I can’t eat the dessert” – it IS – “I can eat the blueberries!”  When we focus on how good we feel fueling ourselves with the best foods you will continue to be motivated to eat these foods.

Exercise steady  — Aside from burning calories exercise is important because when we exercise our bodies releases endorphins which make us feel good and motivate us to eat well, do our jobs well and simply be happy!

Drink upOur bodies are 50-75% water. The most common reason people are sluggish in the afternoon is due to dehydration. If we don’t drink enough water our bodies do not function properly, we become tired and do not metabolize food properly.

Pamper thyselfTreating ourselves to something special can have emotional and physical benefits. Simple small indulgences, like a manicure, massage, bubble bath can make us look and feel great.

Sleep deepWhen we are well rested we make better food choices, have more energy to go the gym, walk to work or take time for our favorite activities.

Sex edOxytocin – a hormone released after orgasm in men and women, through cuddling, and even by simply holding hands – acts as a soothing antioxidant and may make it easier for people to stick to their healthy eating style.

Stress lessStress increases the level of the hormone cortisol in our bodies, which in turn makes our bodies crave carbohydrates, specifically high sugar carbohydrates, and store fat around the mid-section. So, even if we don’t eat more due to stress we can still gain weight due to stress!

Live Consciously — The environment that surrounds us can impact our heath, both our mental and physical health.

OK, friends. Get cracking. Of course you can share them with me or a good friend . . . remember to reevaluate often. Happy Labor Day. Enjoy!

Better Sex = Better Sleep?

Couple In Bed Cuddling
Trouble sleeping? We all know sex is good for our health, but did you know that getting lucky can actually help you fall asleep? Research shows that the tendency for a person to fall asleep right after sex is associated with a greater desire for bonding and cuddling with their partner. This study also found that women were more likely than men to be the first to fall asleep after intimacy. Get close to your partner and get some shut eye!

NLT: In We Were an Island: The Maine Life of Art & Nan Kellam, Peter Blanchard writes about a couple that kept their relationship wonderful while living alone together on an isolated island for 40 years. Of course, personal space and occasional solitude was essential for each of them nonetheless.