Pucker up seniors ... it may be good for your health. A growing body of research finds that continuing to get your groove on as you age can bear some provocative mind and body benefits.
A recent study of more than 1,900 older adults in the Netherlands found 42% of the respondents—mainly in their 70s—still find sex to be an essential factor in their relationships. Those who viewed their current sexuality as important and pleasant had better memory and overall cognitive function, and they processed information more quickly than those who reported the opposite, according tofindings published this month in the journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
“The reality of aging is that most people continue to have sexual feelings of some sort,” the authors wrote. They suggest sexual status be an integral part of medical and psychological examinations.
In fact, a healthy dose of hanky-panky is a key unifying characteristic among the world's longest-living people. Even some centenarians are still “getting it on” well into their hundreds, said Dan Buettner, longevity researcher and author of The Blue Zones. He points to Filipe Gudoy, a 104-year-old Costa Rican who, during his last health check, reported he can make whoopee and perform “with achievement.”
“We can't say that having sex is going to make us live longer, but we can definitely say having sex and living longer go hand in hand,” Buettner said. Sexual aptitude may be an indicator of good cardiovascular health and hormone levels, and wanting to 'do the do' may also signal to the body that you're trying to remain procreative. “The things that bring us pleasure also seem to be things that favor survival—like eating when hungry and drinking when thirsty,” Buettner said.