Staying Young With Sex!

Mid-life sex... possible or problematic? Many believe that a decrease in sexual appetite is normal as one ages. Some say that once people reach 50 years of age, they do not place the same importance on sexual relations. For many, a decline in libido is not necessarily optional. Sex, even great sex, is not only possible during mid-life, it is actually encouraged by many doctors across the country. Having sex may add years to your life by helping to improve your health in three major ways:

One: The link to anti-aging

Can you add years to your life by staying in bed? Dr. Michael Roizen of the University of Chicago says yes! He coauthored Real Age: Are You as Young as You Can Be? (Harper Collins, 1999) and has reviewed more than 25,000 case studies concerning lifestyle and longevity. He estimates that it could be possible to add two years to your life by "connecting" with your mate just twice a week.

Two: Sex reduces stress

Dr. E. Hallowell, Director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health, tells his patients to have sex if conventional exercise is difficult for them. He says that a daily half hour of exercise, of any type, can greatly reduce stress and tension. A recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin reported "just thinking about sexual activity reduces anxiety."

Three: Better brain function

During the act of sex, chemicals are released in the brain that help brain cells produce new dendrites (the filaments attached to nerve cells which allow neurons to communicate). These dendrites affect memory retention. Dr. Lawrence Katz, Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, uses this neurological phenomenon to explain why people who are sexually active learn better than those who are not. He also recommends variation in your sex life in order to "experience things in a different way so your brain wakes up and pays attention."

Dwindling desire

The numerous benefits a person receives from sex, both physically and emotionally, may decline at some point. A decreased interest in sex during mid-life can be caused by the presence of children, high stress work environments and even boredom. For women, menopause may create a serious drop in sexual appetite. As men age, they may also experience a drop in libido since their testosterone levels decrease naturally. Barring specific physical conditions that hinder or prevent intercourse, recharging your sex life may be easier than you think.

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