When you become a parent you have to keep so many things up in the air to keep the world going round, it feels like. You have to remember that kid 2 needs a haircut and kid 1 has a science project due tomorrow. Kid 3 won’t let you sleep yet — oh and yeah, there’s a partner you’re supposed to be spending time with having frequent sexual activity with, too. It can feel like way too much at times and then you have to worry about your health for the future, too. Trying to find time to fit it all in, you wonder what is going to be left of your brain after you’re done raising children. And you want to do whatever you can to protect that so you can … you know… enjoy life when your kids are out of the nest.
Well, it seems there is one thing you should make more time for in your already super busy life. Because this activity is going to boost your brain power as you get older.
Yep, getting it on. Frequent sexual activity.
According to a study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford, researchers discovered that people who had more regular sexual activity scored higher results on tests that measured their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them and their verbal fluency.
The study, which was published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences, looked into the lives of just under 100 people who were between the ages of 50 and 83. Those involved in the study filled out a questionnaire answering on average how often they had sexual activity in the 12 months prior. They had to answer whether their frequency was “never,” “monthly,” or “weekly.” The respondents were also asked to answer genera questions on their health and lifestyle.
The men and women also took a test — yep test time — which was used to measure the brain function of the older adults. It focused on attention, fluency, memory, language, and visuospatial ability. They had to answer, in 60 seconds, as many animals as they could, then as many words that began with the letter F — these are designed to reflect their cognitive abilities. They also had tests that looked at copying a design that was complex and to draw a clock face just from memory.
I’m sure I would fail all that. I haven’t slept in a ridiculously long time.
Anyway… back to the test.
The results of this test is the reason many of us need to put sex back on the to-do list and higher up it. You know, if it feeling good didn’t matter enough. According to the study, the results showed that those participants who answered that hey had weekly sexual activity scored much higher in the tests, with their verbal fluency test scoring the highest.
Dr. Hayley Wright the lead researcher on the study and part of Coventry University’s Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, said:
“We can only speculate whether this is driven by social or physical elements — but an area we would like to research further is the biological mechanisms that may influence this.
“Every time we do another piece of research we are getting a little bit closer to understanding why this association exists at all, what the underlying mechanisms are, and whether there is a ’cause and effect’ relationship between sexual activity and cognitive function in older people.
“People don’t like to think that older people have sex — but we need to challenge this conception at a societal level and look at what impact sexual activity can have on those aged 50 and over, beyond the known effects on sexual health and general wellbeing.”
So, there you have it, people. Gotta schedule that shit in.
(Image: iStock / shironosov)