You don’t have to go far to hear a non-cyclist make a joke about the unattractiveness of lycra cycling gear. It’s an old joke that never seems to fade. While not always flattering cycling shorts and bibs are fantastically comfortable and durable through friction, sweat, rain and a few hours sitting on your posterior. So say what you like, we know what’s good for us, plus, with the right design, a cool kit can definitely turn heads for the right reasons.
But just when we thought it would never be possible for lycra to be truly sexy, a study from the University of Arkansas found a strong correlation between fitness and sexual desirability. Those that exercised consistently saw themselves as more desirable and attractive to others, ranking themselves above average in sex appeal compared to other participants that didn’t exercise. The more exercise, the sexier they ranked themselves. It’s good to know that donning lycra and going for a ride that feels great on the inside can boost our confidence when it comes to attractiveness on the outside. It’s also encouraging to know that you are getting yourself into a positive loop, with motivation to continue exercising and hold onto that feel-good sexiness.
It’s not just a feeling that you are sexier, it actually goes deeper than that, additional studies by the Archives of Sexual Behaviour and the University of Texas both showed that regular exercise, like cycling for 20 minutes five times a week, boosted sexual drive and bedroom performance. Men who maintained moderate, regular exercise reported better sex and more of it than men who didn’t. For the ladies, regular exercise was shown to create arousal. The ladies in the study cycled for 20 minutes and the results showed a significant increase in blood flow to female sexual regions in as little as six weeks of study, prompting women to feel more sexual desirable and engage in more satisfying sex with their partners. Amazingly, the increase in sexual arousal was even evident in women who were taking antidepressants so their sensory nerves were supressed. Looks like cycling is an unstoppable force when it comes to increasing your sexiness.
So if you are looking for a natural cure for bedroom blues, clip on a helmet and jump on a bike seat and you’ll be buzzing with sexual energy in no time. You’ll not only find a way to a sexier, more bedroom driven you, but you’ll also dust of the mental cobwebs and shake off negative feelings like depression, and give your blood and oxygen a nutrient charge that gets your whole body zinging.
Not only can cycling help prevent the onset of depression but studies from the University of Bern were able to show that physical exercise could bring about the same chemical changes in the brain as antidepressants. Test subjects completed a two-part mind calming program each day which consisted of taking a turn on a stationary bike and then doing a short meditation. The long-term study took place over two years and the subjects involved all moved from being clinically depressed to freedom from depression, without the use of medication.
Obviously these tests were monitored very closely by doctors and health professionals so you wouldn’t be able to stop taking any recommended medication yourself without first speaking with your doctor, however, it is so reassuring to know that a positive state of mind can be a s simple as a bike ride a day away.
Feelings of depression can have such a high impact on every element of a person’s life, from not eating well, not sleeping well, not exercising and not wanting to socialise and lowered sex drive. When you go for a nice bike ride you get a chance to shake the cobwebs loose, enjoy the outside air, get the blood pumping and look forward to a much needed shower afterwards, leaving you fresh and rejuvenated inside and out.
If you already ride often, be sure to set out early in the morning to keep your mind sharp, and get in a second ride in the afternoon if you can. If you ride the same route everyday, make sure you shake it up with a change of direction every now and again to keep your brain switched on and notice your surrounds. Always ride alone? Another element to shift up and shake on is who you ride with. Ride with your partner, with a group or suggest a ride for team building activities at work or in your social circles.
A study at the University of Toronto showed that cycling with friends, either on the road, on the trail or in a spin class had subjects reporting less stress and better health. Socialising is so important to mental health as well as a great way to motivate you to stick to your fitness plan if you ride in a group or with friends.
And speaking of socializing, now that you are washed and replenished, why not go out, mingle and have some fun?
Getting fitter, stronger, and sexier at the same time? That’s freedom!