Okay, so you may not need an excuse to want to have more sex, but let’s face it, sometimes life… with all its ups and downs… simply gets in the way. And when that happens, you can find yourself yearning for a nap instead of a roll in the hay.

But that’s a shame, because besides the obvious ones, the hidden health benefits of sex are pretty powerful. Yes, it’s true… engaging in more nookie could mean a happier AND healthier you.

So grab the love of your life, and dive into these six health benefits of sex…and great reasons to have more sex.

(1) Slice heart disease deaths in half: According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, men who did the deed at least twice a week, were around HALF as likely to die from heart disease compared to the poor fellas who only had sex rarely. And in another study, published in the journal Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers concluded that sex may offer some protection from stroke and fatal coronary heart disease. The reason why is simple; Sex, done right, increases your heart rate giving the old ticker a good little workout, while helping to balance out your hormone levels at the same time. Now THAT’S an exercise plan I’m betting most of us can get behind, and a great health benefit of sex.

(2) Slash blood pressure: Research shows that a fulfilling sex life and lower blood pressure go hand-in-hand. In one study, researchers say intercourse was shown to slash diastolic blood pressure. And in another study, published in the journal Biological Psychology, researchers concluded that the blood pressure of volunteer’s who were having sex was less reactive to stress.

(3) Boost bladder control: This one’s for the ladies. Sex causes contractions of your pelvic floor muscles. Those are the very same muscles that control urine flow, and the ones that can naturally start to weaken with age, leading to incontinence. So think of every orgasm as a good work out as well as a good time, and plan to start having more of them!

(4) Reduce prostate cancer risk: Don’t feel left out guys, this one’s for you. According to one study, more sex… or really just more ejaculations in general… could drive down your prostate cancer risk. The study, published in JAMA, found that men who had at least 21 ejaculations a month were less likely to get prostate cancer.

(5) Put pain on the backburner: I get it, when you’re hurting the last thing that comes to mind is a rollicking round of sex. But it may be time to change that, because it turns out that sex is nature’s pain reliever. Now pain specialists have been telling us this for years of course, but most people still haven’t yet caught on to the miraculous pain-relieving powers of the humble orgasm. For example, according to a recent study in the journal Cephalalgia, sex can relieve migraines and cluster headaches for some sufferers.

(6) Send stress packing: Earlier I mentioned that the roller coaster of life can leave you craving sleep instead of sex. Remember, there’s both good and bad stress, and either kind can leave you feeling tuckered out at the end of the day. Luckily you have unlimited access the ultimate stress reliever.  Yes, you guessed it, it’s SEX! Intimacy with a loved one causes your body to pump out natural feel-good hormones called endorphins. And with lots of endorphins flowing through your bloodstream it’s next to impossible to feel anxious or stressed. (Incidentally, endorphins are a natural pain-reliever to boot!)