8 health benefits of kissing

Kissing can be can be a heart-healthy micro workout, a hormone releaser and a mood booster.

Story highlights

  • Kissing is not only fun, it can be healthy
  • A smooch helps reduce your blood pressure
  • It can also reduce cramps and headaches

(upwave.com)Ah, the kiss. It can be so many things: sweet, loving, awkward, intense, transporting, disappointing, boring, sublime, life altering.

On the delicious and passionate side of the spectrum, a smooch can be a heart-healthy micro workout, a hormone releaser and a mood booster. It's also fun -- and a great way to connect with the person you care about.
    "Sex, as wonderful as it is, can be perfunctory," says Andréa Demirjian, author of "Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life's Sweetest Pleasures." "Kissing is intimate: You're right there in the space of your soul. It gets to the core of your heart and spirit because it's such a lovely way to express and receive love and affection. A kiss a day really can keep the doctor away."

    1. Kissing helps reduce blood pressure

    Making out isn't just good for your emotional heart, it gives your anatomical one a workout, too. "Kissing passionately gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that helps lower your blood pressure," says Demirjian. "It dilates your blood vessels -- blood is flowing in a good, solid fashion and getting to all your vital organs."

    2. Kissing zaps cramps and headaches

    "Kissing is great if you have a headache or menstrual cramps," says Demirjian. You may be inclined to wave away advances when you're curled into an achy ball, but the blood-vessel dilation brought on by a good long smooching session can really help ease your pain. In fact, Demirjian recommends replacing the ol' "Not tonight, dear -- I have a headache" line with, "Honey, I have a headache. Come kiss me!"

    3. Kissing fights cavities

    A smooch-a-thon gets all, er, fluids flowing -- including your saliva. "When you're kissing, you're secreting more saliva in your mouth," says Demirjian. "That's the mechanism that washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities." (So much more fun than gargling!)

    4. Kissing amps up your happy hormones

    "If you're feeling stressed or rundown, a little kissing or lovemaking [is] actually the elixir you need to... feel better," says Demirjian. "It will relax, restore and revitalize you.... The feel-good chemicals in the brain get percolating: serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin -- things you can get from the rush of exercising."