6 Ways Kissing Makes You Stronger
Pucker up: These kissing tips will keep any couple strong—physically and mentally.
By Melissa Noble with additional research by Reader's Digest Editors
1. Kissing boosts immunity.
Kissing has long been thought to be a way to pass along bugs and strengthen the body’s defenses. In fact, a study reported in the journal Medical Hypotheses says kissing may increase a woman’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus, which can cause infant blindness and other birth defects if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy.
2. Kissing burns calories.
Depending on different reports, smooching burns anywhere from two to six calories per minute. Not quite a jog on the treadmill, but locking lips for an hour may burn off half a handful of M&Ms or half a glass of wine. Hey, it’s something.
3. Kissing keeps facial muscles strong.
Sure, tight abs or cellulite-free thighs may be first on your fitness list, but don’t underestimate the workout your mouth gets during a make-out session. Researchers say you use 30 muscles while kissing and that smooching helps keep your cheeks tight. Nice.
4. Kissing naturally relaxes you.
Scientific reports say kissing increases the levels of oxytocin, the body’s natural calming chemical. It also increases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Swapping spit is also noted to boost dopamine, which aids in feelings of romantic attachment.
5. Kissing helps you pick the best mate.
Much of the cortex is devoted to picking up sensations from around the lips, cheeks, tongue and nose. Out of 12 cranial nerves, five of them pick up data from around the mouth.
“At the moment of the kiss, there are hard-wired mechanisms that assess health, reproductive status and genetic compatibility,” says Gordon G. Gallup Jr., a professor of evolutionary psychology at the State University of New York at Albany who studies reproductive competition and the biology of interpersonal attraction. “Therefore, what happens during that first kiss can be a make-or-break proposition.” No pressure, though.
6. Passionate kisses are good for your oral health.
According to Dental Health Magazine, "deep kissing increases the flow of saliva, which helps to keep the mouth, teeth and gums healthy." The additional liquid helps get rid of food particles in your teeth, and in stimulating your immune system, you're aiding your body in the fight against infection.
7. The longest kiss?
A Thai couple recently set the world record for longest kiss, smooching for over 46 hours straight.