We’ve already written about the benefits of cycling, and its main advantages are already well documented. No doubt you already know that cycling is good for improving and maintaining cardiovascular and mental health, but what are some unexpected benefits of cycling?
1. Cyclists have a better sex-life
Okay, so this surprised us, and we thought we were pretty well-versed on the benefits of cycling, unexpected or otherwise. One of the significant advantages of a cardiovascular workout is that it improves blood flow around the body, which some researchers suggest acts as a ‘sexual enhancement’ for men. One Italian study, detailed on the Cyclist website, took 30 men ‘experiencing sexual dysfunction linked to weak heart muscles’ and asked them to go cycling three times a week for eight weeks. When asked after the study had concluded, the wives and partners of the participants reported ‘improved sexual performance.’
In another study mentioned by Bicycling.com, Duke University said that men who exercise for 30 minutes a day for four days a week were ‘two-thirds less likely to suffer sexual dysfunction’ than those who did not exercise. A further study, discussed in an article by Bike Radar, found that cyclists scored higher in ‘sexual function tests’, leading the author to suggest that cyclists ‘have a better sex life than non-cyclists, at least marginally.’
2. Cycling can help slow down Parkinson’s disease (and help reduce the risk of developing it)
In an article on the We Love Cycling website, Siegfried Mortkowitz details some ways cycling can help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He uses the example of neuroscientist Dr Jay Alberts, who rode a tandem bike with Parkinson’s patients and found that riding three times a week for 40 minutes saw a 35% improvement in symptoms.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, ‘exercise is vital in maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities, along with a potential neuroprotective effect’. It goes on to say that people with Parkinson’s who exercised regularly showed a ‘smaller decline in mobility and quality of life over two years’. Cycling also seems to greatly reduce the risk of developing the condition in the first place, especially for men, according to a review of studies published in the JAMA Network Open.
3. You Can Generate Clean Electricity from Indoor Cycling
You can now bottle the energy you generate during exercise and convert it into clean electricity. Energym is launching the RE:GEN, an energy-generating indoor cycling bike designed to make your workouts time and energy efficient. There’s a ton of software built into the bike and the accompanying app, including an AI that builds customised workouts and an FTP meter on the portable battery unit. Find out more about the RE:GEN on the Energym website. We’re taking pre-orders for the next production, so don’t miss out.
4. Cycling can make your skin glow
Cycling makes your heart thump harder and faster, increasing the blood flow around your body. One of the benefits of this is that nutrients and oxygen can permeate the skin cells more efficiently, making the skin appear healthier. The benefits don’t end there, either. Cycling can also help prevent the free-radical damage associated with ageing skin. One study discussed by the New York Times found that exercise helped reduce the effect of ageing on the outer and inner layers of skin, even in those aged 65+ who, before the study, had been living sedentary lives. But be careful if you’re cycling outdoors in sunny weather as ageing caused by UV damage isn’t reversible.
5. Cycling can make you a more productive employee (and person)
We’ve already mentioned how cycling increases the flow of blood around the body and how good this is for skin and sexual function, but did you know that it’s also great for the brain. More blood to the brain means better cognitive performance, helping with multi-tasking, alertness and decision making. According to Livestrong, exercise triggers the protein that boosts cognitive ability. For employers, this is particularly attractive because it increases employee productivity. A productive workforce is better for the business and is often linked to higher levels of employee wellbeing.
The global economy could receive a boost of up to $100 billion yearly if employers could encourage employees to exercise for just 15-minutes a day.
It’s one of the reasons why we’re adding our ECO:PODs and their electricity-generating indoor bikes into offices and workplaces. Of course, you don’t have to be an employee to benefit from having more focus or from being more productive. Many of us strive to be better in our personal lives as much as in our working lives, and cycling could be one way we can put our brain power to better use.
The benefits of cycling go way beyond just improving our basic fitness levels. It’s remarkable when you think how a straightforward course of exercising can significantly impact our lives. Whether you’re looking to improve your mental or physical health, generate clean electricity to power the devices in your home or feel more focused, there’s never been a better time to get the bike out of the garage or sign up for that indoor cycling class.