Why Sex is Good for the Heart

By CNN News Wire

Published 02/12 2014 07:01AM

Updated 02/12 2014 07:03AM

Valentine's Day is upon us - a time for amour.  To quote an Andrew Lloyd Webber play, love changes everything, especially when it comes to your health, both physically and mentally. 

If you are planning a night of romance for your sweetie it may turn into something more intimate. And doctors say that's a good thing, because sex can do wonders for your heart.

"The more frequently you have sexual activity, the healthier is your immune system, which will put you at lower risk for infection and inflammation," explains Dr. Warren Levy, a cardiologist at Virginia Heart.  "Both of those have been tied to the development of vascular disease."

That's because sexual activity opens up the blood vessels.  And being in a good relationship makes it even better. And a comprehensive review of divorce statistics by the University of Arizona showed that divorced people are at  23% greater risk of early death than married people. So its important to work on bonding.

"It can provide a release of emotions, whether it's a sexual activity or a shared activity," says Dr. Gregory Jones, a psychologist with District Psychotherapy Associates. "It helps decrease feelings of loneliness and loneliness can lead to depression and anxiety."

And it cuts down on stress. 

So Dr. Jones recommends the following tips for keeping the romance alive.

-Be an active listener.
"Turn off the tv, put the remote down, close the computer, put away the ipad, maintain eye contact and focus on actually listening to each other."

-Focus on the positives in your relationship

-Stop nagging.

-Make time for your partner and touch more often.

Because your heart can always use a little love.

(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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