Sex is probably the one thing that few people struggle to find motivation for.

It’s certainly not exercise, which we all know is good for us. Still it can be extremely difficult for us to exercise every day. But the fact that getting busy between the sheets is fun may obscure the fact that it actually has tremendous health benefits.

Here are just a few of the reasons why getting it on is good for your health.

1. There’s real joy in sex

You probably don’t need a whole bunch of scientists to tell you that sex makes us happy. Just the same, it’s worth noting that researchers long ago established a link between having sex and feeling tickled pink with yourself and the world.

In a recent study of 1,000 women, the participants ranked sex as No. 1 of all the activities that made them the happiest. Scouring data from 16,000 American adults on money, sex and their happy place also led economists to conclude in a 2004 study that having sex once a week instead of once a month was roughly the same as having an extra $50,000 in the bank.

2. Sex banishes stress

The act of having sex floods your brain with gobs of feel-good chemicals that naturally cut cortisol, known as the stress hormone, which can wreak havoc on body and soul.

3. It helps boost our immune system

Researchers at Pennsylvania’s Wilkes University asked college students how often they had sex each week and then examined the levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody that functions as the body’s first line of defense. Those who had sex once or twice a week had the highest levels of immunoglobulin A. In fact, it was 30 percent higher than those who had no sex. Perhaps more interesting, however, the students who were in longer-term, satisfying relationships had the highest levels of the antibody.

4. It promotes active brains

Using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, British researchers found that sexually active men between the ages 50 and 89 had better cognitive function than those who weren’t sexually active — even after adjusting for quality of life, loneliness, depression and physical activity. Women had the same benefit from sex in terms of memory.

In a follow-up study, researchers found that having sex at least once a week was highly predictive of improved cognitive functioning.

5. It’s good for your heart

And not just in terms of creating a greater emotional connection to your partner. Sex can be a good cardiovascular workout, which is great for your ticker. As reported in Prevention magazine, researchers determined that sex is a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise that burns around 3 calories per minute in women. So, sex can help strengthen your heart, lower your blood pressure and cut your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sure beats the treadmill.