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Blazing Saddles: Cycling and your sex life



PHUKET: There is no doubt that cycling is tremendously beneficial for your body and you only have to look at the fine physiques of such super-cyclists with strong Phuket associations as Chris McCormack, Clint Kimmins, Belinda Granger and Anan Duangsopa in order to see how true this is.

But how good is cycling for your sex life and does it have any positive benefits for your performance in the romantic realms of life, away from the grease, gears and grunts of pumping those hot Phuket hills?

Bicycling in the past has actually got a bad media rap for cramping sex lives by, shall we say, ‘numbing the equipment’. While education and gel saddles have quieted those concerns, new research shows that cycling on a regular basis can actually make your sex life better.

Here are a few benefits to keep in mind the next time you feel inclined to mount your two-wheeled silver stallion and take off for a ride.

You’re sexy and you know it

Riding a bike makes you fit, and being fit makes you feel more confident. 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 bike rides a week were found to boost body image. Among those who exercised two to three days per week – over 80 per cent of males and nearly 60 per cent 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 per cent of females and 69 per cent of males reported themselves as being 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 per cent more intelligent and cool, and 10 per cent more charitable, than other people. Twenty-three per cent said they’d rather date a cyclist than other types of athletes. And about two thirds of the respondents owned up to loving the look of our Lycra outfits.

Getting a little bit high

There’s a reason why many people turn to mind-altering chemicals to ‘get in the mood for love’ – it relaxes them and lowers 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 get in the mood, and enjoy a naughty romp 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 produce 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, for 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.

Age is no barrier

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. It’s a sure bet that 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 enjoy well into old age. In fact, 22 per cent of the net growth in cycling worldwide is among people over the age of 60.

Can you say stamina?

Cycling increases your strength and endurance… need I say more? Just remember to stay safe when out cycling on Phuket’s maniacal roads, as ‘rumpy-pumpy’ is so much more difficult when you’re in traction.

— Baz Daniel


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