Gentlemen, start your engines.

A new study finds that men who rev it up in the bedroom are far less likely to suffer from heart disease.

I don't know many people who need an excuse to have more sex--but in case you do, here it is.

Researchers studied data on the sexual activity of more than 1,000 men between the ages of 40 and 70. And the study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex at least twice a week were 45 percent less likely to develop heart disease than men who had sex once a month or less.

Part of the reason is that healthy men can have sex more often... and unhealthy men who have a higher risk for heart disease anyway have sex less often because they're physically unable.

But researchers believe it goes further, and that sex has a physical and mental effect on men that can help them to stay healthier.

And of course sex is great at reducing stress, one of the risk factors for heart disease.

The new study is consistent with earlier research, including a study which found that men who have sex at least twice a week had a 50 percent decrease in the risk of fatal heart attack than those who had sex less than once a month.

That's not the only reason to keep busy in bed... another study found that men who have orgasms five times a week-- with a partner or without--were less likely to get prostate cancer.

Other studies have found that men who have sex twice a week live longer.

Naturally, there are plenty of other benefits for both partners, too.

For example, you can forget the old line "Not now, I have a headache," because sex can actually make that migraine disappear. A study at the Southern Illinois School of Medicine found that an orgasm is as effective as aspirin for migraine headaches. Other studies have shown than the oxytocin and endorphins released during sex are powerful painkillers, and that same oxytocin can also stimulate healing.

Sex can even help you beat the cold and flu. One study found that doing it once or twice a week in the winter boosts the immune system by increasing levels of immunoglobulin A, helping the body to fight invading organisms... like the flu virus.

Sounds like a lot more fun than a vaccine to me.