- New research on cyclists, runners, and swimmers finds that getting well above the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) exercise a week improves sexual function and satisfaction.
- Men cycling about 10 hours a week at a pace of about 16 mph were 22 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction than men who rode 2 hours or less a week.
- Women who cycled moderately for 5.5 hours a week experienced better arousal and orgasm satisfaction.
Exercise isn’t just good for your heart health—it’s also really good for your love life: Even if you are already active, exercising longer or more vigorously can give you even more bang for your buck in the bedroom, new research finds.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, included an international group of 3,906 men (average age 41 to 45) and 2,264 women (average age 31 to 35), all of whom were cyclists, swimmers, runners, and/or multisport athletes.
The recreational athletes completed anonymous surveys about how much they exercised each week as well as their sexual function, including any issues with erectile dysfunction for men and arousal difficulties for women.
After crunching the numbers, a clear trend emerged: The more the men and women exercised, the better their sexual function and satisfaction.
Strikingly, men who rode approximately 10 hours per week at about a 16 mph pace were 22 percent less likely to experience erectile dysfunction than their peers who rode 2 or fewer hours a week.
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But you don’t have to rack up double digit hours of saddle time to reap meaningful sexual function benefits. The men in the study enjoyed significant improvements with every increase in exercise, most notably when they reached the point where they were burning more than about 4,000 calories a week, or the equivalent of about 6 to 7 hours of moderate cycling.
Women, too, saw their sexual function, including arousal and orgasm satisfaction, improve with higher levels of exercise, especially once they reached levels above the equivalent of about 5.5 hours per week of moderate cycling.
“While both groups benefited from increasing levels of exercise, women seemed to gain the most in terms of self-reported orgasm function and arousal by being in the most intense exercise group,” study author Benjamin Breyer, M.D., associate professor of urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at University of California, San Francisco, told Bicycling.
The bedroom boost can likely be explained in the same way that exercise helps your heart: Healthy arteries and good circulation help ensure all your parts are functioning at their best.
Want to ride even more? Have at it. “We never saw a point where exercise was counterproductive—that it created more sexual dysfunction—in men and women,” Breyer, who is also chief of urology at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, said.
Even those who rode lots—burning a whopping 8,260 calories, or the equivalent of about 14 hours of moderate riding a week—continued to enjoy improved sexual function.
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