Despite our best intentions, life can often get in the way of our fitness plans. The good news? A little sexy time can make up for that missed workout — and be a lot more fun. Getting sweaty in bed has a host of health benefits, from boosting cardiovascular health to burning calories. In fact, according to new data from Perfect Fit, sex and foreplay can burn just as many calories (sometimes more!) than your average gym session.
Exactly how many is that? On average, the study found that 25 minutes of sex burns 69 calories for women and 100 calories for men. Makes sense considering a good romp ups your heart rate and works your muscles. But there are some other, more substantial calorie burners outside of just penetrative sex. Making out can burn up to 230 calories every half hour, which is pretty much what you’d burn from a half hour of running. Making out over running? Um, yes please.
Perfect Fit also found that performing oral sex can burn 100 calories per half hour, a hand job can burn 100 calories per hour, and massaging your partner can burn 80 calories per hour. The study also found that even your moans are burning calories — 18 to 30 per moan, that is.
Sex positions can also affect calorie burn, according to Charlene Ciardiello, CEO of the holistic fitness program Shut Up and Move. Ciardiello told The Cut that women can burn up to 122 calories per half hour in cowgirl, since being on top requires a lot more motion and core work. Legs up can burn 116 calories for a woman while also increasing her flexibility (who needs yoga?). Of the positions Ciardiello reviewed, doggy style burns the least calories for women, coming in at 98 per half hour.
Regardless of how you choose to get down, most positions will burn about as many calories as a 30-minute walk. So don’t sweat it if you missed your Pilates class this morning. Just keep in mind that everyone’s caloric burn is different and dependent on one’s overall cardiovascular health.
And even if you don’t have a partner at the current moment, you can still burn some calories solo: Experts say that 45 minutes of masturbation can burn up to 70 calories. As if you need another reason to do it.