All those explorers looking for the fountain of youth should have just headed home, and then straight to the bedroom. According to new research, the secret to looking a whopping seven years younger is to have regular sex.
Dr David Weeks, former head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, has said that people in their later years should be aware of the health benefits of having an active sex life.
He went on to explain that sex releases endorphins or 'feel good' chemicals, which helps to reduce anxiety, and acts as a natural painkiller - which can help improve quality of sleep. He also said that the exercise promotes circulation to the heart and - crucially - causes the human growth hormone to be released which gives the skin better elasticity.
This isn't the first time however that sex has been recommended for older couples - the Times of India reported that anti-ageing expert Dr Eric Braverman believes an active sex life can help you look and feel younger by boosting the skin''s production of Vitamin D.
There are other theories that indicate sex is especially good for women because with age, oestrogen levels decline but having sex means your body produces more oestrogen. Apart from the calories you're also burning (on average it's about 5-10 per minute), it also enables the production of collagen which helps ward off age spots and sagging.
Dr Weeks added: “The stereotype of an elderly person is that when they get their pension and bus pass, they stop having sex and that’s not true.
“Sexual satisfaction is a major contributor to quality of life, ranking at least as high as spiritual or religious commitment and other morale factors, so more positive attitudes towards mature sex should be vigorously promoted."
Here are some sex tips from HuffPost US: