The Surprising Way Kissing Can Boost Your Longevity

Kissing can inspire any number of emotions: relaxation, excitement, arousal, and so on. But did you know that kissing also has a variety of physical benefits? In fact, there is a whole science dedicated purely to the study of kissing (via The American Journal of Medicine). Yes, you heard that right! The study of kissing is referred to as philematology, and research indicates that kissing can provide a wide range of health benefits, such as increased levels of endorphins, calming allergies, and even fighting cavities (via Boston Medical Group). Maybe most surprisingly of all, science tells us that regularly kissing your partner could also increase your lifespan.

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona, it was found that kissing lowers levels of cortisol in the brain (via KOLD News). Cortisol is a hormone that gets released into our bodies as a response to stress. While cortisol is essential to our body's functioning, too much of it released over long periods of time can result in long-term health complications, such as increased blood sugar levels, heart disease, or a weakened immune system (via Premier Health). Because kissing has the ability to decrease the amount of stress hormones in our body, kissing helps to keep us alive and stress-free longer. Additional findings from the study further confirm this, concluding, "Couples who kiss goodbye every morning live an average of five years longer than those who don't."

Kissing can simultaneously reduce stress and burn calories

Other ways that kissing can positively influence our health is through the burning of calories. The number of calories burned can be even further influenced by how passionate the kiss is. If you're sitting up, laying down, using your hands, or kissing for longer periods of time, the number of calories burned can increase (via MBG Health). American cardiologist, Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., published a study in the American Journal of Medicine with findings that indicate kissing can burn between 2 and 26 calories per minute while incorporating as many as 23 to 34 facial muscles. According to Boston Medical Group, an average of 20,000 minutes over the course of our lives is spent kissing. That's a lot of time spent strengthening those facial muscles!

Whether it's the increased emotional connection to a partner adding more years to our lives, or the stress reduction in our bodies, it's clear that kissing has a positive impact on both our emotional and physical wellbeing. Coupled with a healthy diet and exercise, a little lip-locking may be just what the doctor ordered.