After all, it’s your heart. And you’re not a kid any longer. It’s easy to still have lingering doubts. How does your doctor know for certain? How do you?
Well, it helps to know some basic information about your heart and sex, as well as to answer some very specific – but not too personal, don’t worry – questions about how your heart health may contribute to your sex life.
So, we’re here for you. Take these tests. Between them and your doctor’s advice, you should be able to put aside any last, low-level concerns.
How Much Do You Know About Sex and Heart Health?
1. Does your heart count sex as a cardio workout?
c) Once you have a heart condition, definitely.
Answer – a) yes – to an extent. The average sexual encounter lasts between five and fifteen minutes. At that rate, your heart would benefit from sex the same way it would benefit from light-to-moderate aerobic activity. Think about it as water aerobics, a slow walk, gardening, or putting away groceries. In other words, it’s better than no exercise, but it shouldn’t be your only source of exercise. Your heart simply doesn’t get that much of a work out during sex.
2. What is the risk of having a heart attack during sex?
b) Less than 1%
c) It starts at 5% but goes up after a coronary episode
Answer – b) less than 1%. In other words, incredibly low. In spite of many people’s fears, less than 1% of heart attacks are caused by sexual activity. Technically, yes, sex does raise the risks of having a heart attack – by .01 percent in healthy people and by .1 percent in people with cardiovascular disease. Which is barely statistically significant. When you look at it that way, the risk becomes less frightening.
3. When should you not have sex?
a) After the age of 70
b) If you are, or become, physically uncomfortable
c) Immediately before sleep or immediately upon waking
Answer – b) if you are or become physically uncomfortable. Like any other exercise, you should avoid sex if you are having or start to have any signs of cardiovascular discomfort. Dizziness, palpitations, chest pain, or shortness of breath unrelated to your current activities should all be taken seriously. Once you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor about them as soon as possible And of course, if your doctor tells you to refrain from having sex for any reason, including heart health, listen to him.
Are You Healthy Enough for Sex?
Now that you know how your heart and sex are related in general, it’s time to see if you personally are ready to have sex.
4. Can you climb two flights of stairs without stopping?
This is the quickest way to determine if your heart is ready for sex. If you answered no to this one, definitely talk to your doctor again. But if you can go up and come back down two flights of stairs without stopping, you’re probably good to go! You don’t even have to run up them or take them at every other step. Just walk up both flights. A little winded is even okay, so long as you don’t have to stop.
5. Has your doctor cleared you for sex?
If you have concerns about your heart being healthy enough for sex – or if your doctor has expressed concerns – talk to him. Yes, sometimes talking about sex can be embarrassing, but it’s important. Getting the official go-ahead can bring the peace of mind that you need to relax and enjoy yourself.
6. Can you walk a mile in 20 minutes?
This is the second quick test for heart health and sex. Find a high school track, map out a mile with your car, or get on a treadmill, and start walking. If you can walk a mile in twenty minutes or less, again, without stopping, your heart is probably healthy enough for sex.
7. Do you feel healthy enough to have sex?
Since we live in a world that values youth, it’s easy to simply assume that you’re too old, too out of shape, too over the hill to have sex. But we also have a better understanding of what actually ages us – and how to slow the hands of time.
Proper nutrition, regular exercise, social outlets, and supplements like Healthy Aging can all keep you feeling as vibrant and alive as ever. So don’t let some outdated notions about aging hearts and sex dictate how you see yourself or your heart health.
Obviously, these last four, you’re looking for “yes” answers – especially to question 5, because no online test should ever be used in place of medical advice.
Now, though, you are better prepared to self-assess your heart, your sex life, and all the risks involved. And keep right on enjoying a healthy sex life today and for all the tomorrows to come!