If a small part of you died when you found out that sex doesn't actually count as exercise, this news should revive you: Sex may deliver the even better benefit of prolonging your life, according to the results of a small study first published online in the medical journal, Psychoneuroendocrinology in March that's just making its rounds.
In the study, researchers compared the length of DNA strand protectors called telomeres among 129 mothers in committed relationships. Telomeres are a reliable measure of health since they shorten as you age, and the shorter your telomeres, the more likely you are to develop a degenerative disease and premature death, according to lead researcher Tomás Cabeza de Baca of the University of California, San Francisco, who spoke to PsyPost.org.
Although there was no correlation between the moms' telomere length and measures like partner support or relationship satisfaction, women who reported having had sex at least once during the week had significantly longer telomeres, even after the results were adjusted for factors that could mess with the results, like perceived stress and relationship quality.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.