5 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Sex and Health

They’ll make for great—or slightly awkward—conversation starters with your date tonight.

According to research, couples who begin their day with a kiss are more likely to live longer. Why? The kissing couples begin their days with positive attitude. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whether you’re attached or single, it’s probably safe to say there are plenty of people who are going to get lucky this Valentine’s Day. After all, research shows that a healthy sex life equals a longer life in general. Don’t believe us? Read on for more surprising facts about sex and health.

1) Romantic couples’ heartbeats sync up.
New research has found that couples in love share the same heartbeat. In the study, couples sat across from one another and mimed each other’s movements. Researchers found that partners exhibited similar heart rates and breathing patterns, and adjusted their emotions to one another. Non-couples’ hearts produced no synchrony, the researchers noted.

2) More body contact, less sickness.
“Swapping spit means swapping germs—and that’s natural vaccination,” says local doctor Yael Varnado. A study conducted among teenagers and college students found that those who had sex once or twice a week had 30 percent higher levels of immunoglobulin, an antigen that is the first line of defense against colds and flu. Those who reported more frequent weekly escapades, however, were more exposed to infectious agents.

3) Sex is a decent calorie burner.
People were disappointed to learn that the average romp (six minutes) only burns about 21 calories, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Still, we’re all for burning an extra couple dozen calories here and there—especially with something so fun. Even some passionate kissing can burn up to two to three calories per minute, says Dr. Varnado.

4) More chores for men may mean less sex.
We’re all for equality, but cohabitating couples may not like what this University of Washington research has to say. The 2013 study, which interviewed 4,500 US couples, found that married men who did nontraditional household chores reported having less sex than men who stuck to yard work, paying bills, and auto maintenance. Of course, that doesn’t mean men should forget about washing a dish or two: “Men who refuse to help around the house could increase conflict in their marriage and lower their wives’ marital satisfaction,” researcher Sabino Kornrich warned.

5) Kiss in the morning, live longer.
Research shows that married couples are happier and often healthier than other adults, and those morning kisses may have something to do with it. A study conducted in Germany found that husbands who kissed their spouses in the morning lived five years longer than those who didn’t. The reason is simple: The kissing couples began their days with positive attitude.