Happy National Kissing Day! Click below to learn 5 health benefits of kissing.
Happy National Kissing Day! This just-for-fun “holiday” may have started in the U.K., but countries around the world have now adopted July 6 as a day just for snogging.
Besides the sheer pleasure of sneaking in extra smooches today, there are actually some surprising health benefits of puckering up.
Click through some of our favorites below, and tell us in the comments if you’ve experienced any of these perks!
1. Kissing Burns Calories
Okay, so we’re not talking the equivalent of a trip to the gym, but hey, every little bit counts, right? Locking lips can burn anywhere from two to six calories a minute, according to Self.com.
You’re also putting a whole slew of facial muscles to work when you pucker up, and just a few minutes of extra attention to those muscles can make a big difference when it comes to the appearance of frown lines or less-than-perky cheeks, according to the Daily Mail.
2. Kissing Boosts Immunity
There’s no denying the fact that when you lock lips, there are bound to be some germs, uh, exchanged. One specific bug can be particularly hazardous to pregnant women, but researchers believe kissing is a way to introduce the virus to a woman in small doses before she conceives, triggering her body to build up a resistance to it before she could ever pass it on to a child, according to Popular Science.
However, if your partner in crime is visibly ill, it’s still a good idea to hold off on that kiss, as it’s still an easy way to catch mono, strep throat and herpes, among other things.
3. Kissing Eases Stress
That feeling of relaxation post-kiss isn’t all in your head. A small 2009 study measured levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin and the stress hormone cortisol in pairs of kissing college students, the AP reported. Both men and women experienced a decline in cortisol, a sign of relaxation, that was much greater than when they just held hands.
4. Kissing Could Ease Allergy Symptoms
If those sniffles are due to seasonal allergies and not something contagious, it may be a good idea to go through with the smooch, after all.
A small Japanese study found that couples who kissed for 30 minutes had lower levels of allergen-specific IgE, the proteins that trigger pesky sypmtoms like sneezing and sniffling.
5. Kissing Is Good For Your Teeth
There’s a reason a kiss is called a “wet one” — smooching stimulates saliva production, which can actually wash harmful bacteria off the teeth, Mathew Messina, D.D.S., told WebMD and reduce plaque buildup, according to Glamour.com.