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Monday, September 5, 2016

Do It Like the Dutch: Bike To Work

In the Netherlands about 25% of people bike to work, and yet in the US, we only have 3% of bikers to work. Like any other mode of physical activity: lower death rates, lower rates of obesity, more fitness and less reported fatigue! And more of us are biking for recreation and fitness, as with the trend for cycling classes and types of fitness cycling. But now and then biking to work in a day that you may not get in that cycling class has significant potential to up your calorie burn and improve your heart, your waist, and some studies say even your mind! For women, we have a couple of other considerations. And if you are starting to experience some sexual side effects that cannot be explained in other ways, you may need to speak to your gyno about your biking strategies, as we do know that we have to protect those genital tissues.  In real life: balance, clothing, protective lighting and sun screen are all special considerations on a day by day basis so that we can bike. And then there is the issue of getting the housework done, Dutch may do this less. For girls there are special considerations as for a comfortable and safe bike seat. In general we think that for sexual function the best way to preserve it is to have good blood flow to the genital tissues as well as proper nerve conduction. To function well it's also important to have proper muscle health and strength. To this end biking's effect on fitness is a positive, however with the wrong kind of eat and clothing, some of us may be setting ourselves up for some detrimental effects on sexuality. Reduced arousal comes from reduced blood flow and nerve function (and one of the restorative properties of the O shot is to bring this back!). Chronic compression against a bike seat, and potential for stretching of some of the critical genital nerves during pedaling can potentially affect arousal, lubrication and orgasm. This topic has been well studied as evidenced by these publications.  The largest study of competitive bikers did show that  1 in 6 of the women suffered from swelling of lymph glands, and more than two thirds complained of chafing, inflammation of hair follicles, complained of  nodules and temporary lack of feeling of the clitoris. But for those who want to commute, short cycling stints with proper clothing is almost all a positive, and can enhance your fitness.  It's time to do it like the Dutch, and maybe mix it up, and try biking a bit more as a mode of travel, not just a weekend excursion.

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