Kissing is a universal gesture we do day to day to show we care for someone, whether it be a friend, family member, or a significant other. The euphoric feeling of being face-to-face with a lover, for instance, leaning in as your two lips come together, knees weak and hands shaking, like having your first kiss again, can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Receiving a kiss, be it on the cheek or lips, can actually reap legitimate benefits for your health.

“Kissing has a wonderful duality in that is can be both romantic and erotic or familial and friendly,” said Andréa Demirjian, The Kissing Expert, and author of Kissing, to Medical Daily in an email. “A kiss on the cheek tells someone they are favored and adored; a kiss on the lips signals a sexy intent; and honestly, once the lips are touched, with all the nerve endings there, signals are immediately fired to the brain to start the 'launch sequence' so to speak.”

 It’s time to pucker up your lips and start smooching your way to good health. Here are four reasons why:

1. Burn Calories

Kissing someone passionately on the lips can actually burn approximately 68 calories per hour. Smooching is not only a great way to show affection but also helps you burn fat. “If the kissing is vigorous and involves some petting, it could be even closer to 90 calories burned in an hour,’ said Jaiya Kinzbach, a Los Angeles–based sexologist and the author of Red Hot Touch, to Woman’s Day. While kissing may not replace a 45-minute workout, it can help you burn off a handful of chips or crackers with just exchanging saliva for an hour.

2. Reduces Stress

Many of us will experience a feeling of euphoria, or a “kissing high,” when we touch lips with our significant other. This is attributed to the release of the happy, “feel good” chemicals — dopamine and serotonin — said Demirjian, which relaxes us. When people end a relationship, they experience a drop in these chemicals which gives off the feeling our heart is “broken,” but in actuality, we are going through a chemical withdrawal from the drug. Demirjian believes “with the right person where things click, kissing can be downright intoxicating and addictive!“

3. Relieves Headaches and Cramps

Forget the painkillers, kissing can naturally alleviate headaches and cramps by just dilating our blood vessels. Our brain fires off adrenaline that sends more blood to the “nether regions” for arousal before intercourse, therefore not constricting the blood vessels. Demirjian suggests women not to push their sweetheart away when they are not feeling tip-top. “They can help you feel infinitely better than over the counter pain relievers, and it’s fun too,” she said.

4. Boosts Immunity

Women can benefit from just a kiss on the lips. Scientists believe kissing was developed to spread germs which build up immunity to illness. A 2009 study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses found it boosts the immune system of a woman, particular from cytomegalovirus — a virus, if contracted during pregnancy, which can cause birth defects and blindness to an infant. Kissing is a very natural way to build immunities, as it causes our bodies to produce antibodies. “A kiss a day keeps the doctor away,” Demirjian said. 

Pucker up, and find that special someone to kiss your way to good health.