Raise your hand if you've ever wondered after a hot and sweaty session between the sheets how many calories you burned. Same. Well, it turns out, not only is this intimate time with your partner fun and pleasurable, but it's also good for your psychological, emotional, and physical wellbeing, according to Healthline.
In addition to getting your heart rate up, you can also burn some serious calories by undressing, kissing, and everything in between during sex. Want the specifics? Based on the body weight of a 150-pound woman, here are seven different ways you can burn calories during sex, along with tips from experts on how to ramp things up to burn even more calories.
Kissing: 68 calories per hour
Remember how, when you were first dating and strictly going to first base, you'd start locking lips and come up for air about 30 minutes later? Well, not only can kissing someone you love deepen social attachment between partners, but it can also help you some exercise.
"If the kissing is vigorous and involves some petting, it could be even closer to 90 calories burned in an hour," says Jaiya Kinzbach, a Los Angeles-based sexologist and the author of Red Hot Touch.
Try her technique for turning to kiss into an honest-to-goodness workout session: "Kiss in unusual positions. Have the guy on his back and do 'plank pose' or a push-up on top of him, coming down to kiss him and then pushing back up. Push-ups burn 171 calories in 30 minutes."
Making Out: 230 calories per half-hour
A sizzling clothes-on make-out session with the person you love is an intense caloric blaster yet, according to LA Weekly. Why? Anticipation can get your heart rate going, according to Gilda Carle, PhD, a psychotherapist and relationship expert. "It gives way to heavy breathing, which gives way to a great calorie burn," she explains.
But you can still maximize the workout by making it hotter and sweatier. "The hotter the room — think Bikram (a.k.a. "hot") yoga — and the sweatier the make-out session, the more calories you burn," Kinzbach adds. Also, try rolling around on the bed or changing your scenery. "Make it playful and erotic and you have a great combination for a pleasurable workout."
Massaging: 80 calories per hour
Who doesn't like a good rubdown from their partner? Well, if you're the giver, you get an additional benefit other than making your guy happy: burned calories.
Carole Lieberman, M.D., a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets, told Everyday Health that giving a massage burns 80 calories per hour. Though giving a good massage can get your heart rate up and kick your body into a calorie-burning mode, the way to ramp things up, even more, isn't to speed things up.
Instead, consider going slower, recommends Kinzbach: "This may seem counterintuitive to burning calories, but going slower and deeper is not only more sensual, it works different muscles. I also recommend getting a massage table — it's better on your body, and standing to give a massage burns more calories."
Having sex: 69 calories on average
The number of calories you burn during sex varies widely from one session to another, as well as from person to person. Researchers at the University of Montreal asked 21 heterosexual couples between the age of 18 and 35 to have sex once per week for a period of 4 weeks while wearing an activity tracker to monitor calories. The study published in PLOS ONE found that on average, women burned about 69 calories for a 25-minute session, while men burned around 100 calories.
According to experts, the key to high-calorie-burning sex is to make it hot and long. You can also add a little moaning and sighing, which can help you burn an extra 18 to 30 calories, Kinzbach, says.
Switching up the position can also give you a better workout, as well as keep your sex life exciting. "If you are on top, try moving your hips like a belly dancer; this feels great and will give you a workout," Kinzbach recommends. "Also try a position where you squat on top of him and then bounce up and down. This is a great workout for your thighs and butt, and it can burn up to 207 calories in 30 minutes."
Giving Oral Sex: 100 calories per half-hour
According to trainer Brooke Marrone, owner of Brooke Marrone Fitness in New York, going down on your partner can burn around 100 calories per hour. But if you want to blast fat, Kinzbach recommends trying it with push-ups to burn an extra 71 calories.
"Also you can do a little yoga," Kinzbach says, which tacks on 35 additional calories. "Try plank position into downward-facing dog, and back into plank where you can lower down and do some oral stimulation."
Using Your Hands: 100 calories per hour
Of course, the old-fashioned hand job is a calorie burner. According to a post by Alyssa Dweck, M.D. and gynaecologist, "giving a handjob can burn up to 100 calories an hour depending on vigour and position."
But you can zap an additional 50 calories per half-hour by taking things up a notch, Kinzbach says. "Get lots of stuff going at once," she suggests. "Try really slow sensual strokes, and position yourself so that you can use your body as well." Rocking your body against his and varying the pressure and frequency can help, too, she adds.
Romantic Dancing: 219 calories per hour
A little dancing — even with your clothes on — can be a great workout for you and your husband. According to Mayo Clinic, ballroom dancing burns 219 calories per hour.
"It has been shown in scientific studies that right after an aerobic exercise, women become aroused and lubricated more easily," says Barbara Bartlik, M.D., a New York-based psychiatrist and sex therapist. Slow dancing is fine, but you have to rev things up to get a real workout, like kissing, nibbling the neck, and touching, Kinzbach suggests.