Bicycling has gotten a bad rap over the years for cramping sex lives by numbing the equipment. While education and saddle innovations have quieted those concerns, new evidence shows that cycling on a regular basis can actually make your sex life better. Here are a few bonus benefits to keep in mind the next time you need motivation to ride. (Want more incentive? Join our for daily tips and tricks to jumpstart a daily riding routine.)
You’re Sexy and You Know It
Riding a bike makes you fit, and being fit makes you feel more confident in the buff. In a study of more than 400 men and women, researchers at the University of Arkansas found that those who were physically fit rated their own sexual desirability much higher than did their unfit peers. Even just a couple rides a week can boost your body image. Among those who exercised two to three days per week, over 80 percent of males and nearly 60 percent of females rated themselves as above or much above average in sexual desirability. In terms of actual performance, among those who exercised four to five days per week, 88 percent of females and 69 percent of males reported themselves as being above or much above average.
You’re Sexy and They Know It, Too
Cycling can make you way more attractive to the opposite sex. A survey of 600 men and women commissioned by the British Heart Foundation found that respondents believed cyclists to be 13 percent more intelligent and cooler, and 10 percent more charitable, than other people. Twenty-three percent said they’d rather date a cyclist than other types of athletes. And—hold the phone—two thirds of the respondents owned up to loving the look of our Lycra kits.
You’re a Little Bit High
There’s a reason why many people turn to mind-altering chemicals like alcohol and marijuana to “get in the mood”—it relaxes them and lowers their stress levels (and inhibitions). Well, cycling is an easy way to catch that same chill vibe. You can thank endocannabinoids (which, as the name suggests, are in the same family of chemicals that give pot smokers their high) for that blissed-out feeling you get on your bike, as exercise triggers the release of these stress-busting, feel-good chemicals.
Regular riding also helps keep stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in check, which means you'll feel less stressed overall. Research finds that less stress leads to easier sexual arousal. That means you’ll be more likely to be in the mood and enjoy sex more often. Sure, you can get those endocannabinoids through other form of exercise like running—but not everyone can run long enough to get a fix. Because cycling gets your legs moving and heart pumping without jangling your joints, you can catch a biking buzz no matter your size or current fitness level.
The Pump is Primed
Exercise is energizing, so you’re less likely to be too tired to tango. It also promotes cardiovascular health and increases blood flow, both of which have been scientifically shown to be good for your sex life. Duke University researchers found that men who exercised just 30 minutes a day four days a week were two-thirds less likely to suffer sexual dysfunction than their sedentary peers. Research shows women who are physically active enjoy similar benefits and are more easily aroused, especially soon after exercising. That may be why surveys show that people who exercise more also have more sex.
You’ll Be a Master’s Champion
A Harvard study of 160 male and female swimmers found that swimmers in their 60s had sex as frequently and were as sexually satisfied as those 20 years younger. We’re guessing cycling works just as well if you want to stay sexy longer. And like swimming, cycling is gentle on your joints, so it’s easy to do well into old age. In fact, 22 percent of the net growth in cycling is among people ages 60 to 79: Their participation in cycling quadrupled between 1995 and 2009. Master’s champions, indeed.
Can You Say Stamina?
Cycling increases your strength and endurance. Need we say more? Just don’t forget to stretch.