Health And Wellness

Ouch! The Exercise That's Terrible For Your Love Life

Photo: Undrey / Shutterstock
Ouch! The Exercise That's Terrible For Your Love Life

Unfortunately, you might want to think twice before you sign up for any more bicycle-related workouts.

While cycling had, in the past, usually tended to have been known as a very healthy activity to take part in, some research from 2012 had found that there's one part of your life that it could be affecting in a negative way.

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In other words, spinning class may have just become a woman's worst enemy. More specifically, the traditional bike seat that we sit on as we cycle our way through such workouts may be affecting your love life. Yikes! 

Previous studies had already shown that those hard seats are linked to erectile dysfunction in men, but then, women were found to be at risk, too.

Here's the problem: When we sit on a bike seat, the nerves and blood vessels in our genital area get compressed.

Researchers at Yale already knew that female cyclists, who rode for at least two hours and several days throughout the week, had less genital sensation than female runners did (based on a 2006 study).

They hypothesized that these bike-riding ladies, then, thanks to the aforementioned seat design, were at risk for more problems.

This time around, however, the experts at Yale studied 58 women who cycled for at least 10 miles a week.

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The participants pedaled on "mock bikes" in the lab, (with the seat position and the handlebars adjusted according to each woman's preferences, and in order to mimic her everyday ride), and the women told researchers when they had felt sore, numb or a tingle as a result of sitting on the bike seat.

Interestingly, the handlebars had a lot to do with genital sensation as well. The lower that the bars were, the more that a woman had to lean forward, therefore, ultimately increasing the pressure on her lady bits.

To alleviate the problem, researchers had suggested using "no-nose" saddles or seats; although in spinning class, that may be beyond our control. And if you ever start to experience any kind of numbness or tingling down in your lady parts while on a bike, then you should get off the bike right away. 

Or researchers suggested that you could cut back on the biking and just make it one part of your exercise routine. A more balanced routine could be a much healthier choice.

Of course, the easiest (and probably best) solution is to just forgo spinning class altogether — we're sure that you were probably looking for a valid excuse to skip, anyway (our health is a completely excusable reason, FYI).

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Kait Smith is an editor, writer, social media manager, higher education professional, and graduate student; the list goes on and on. Visit her website for more.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in April 2012 and was updated with the latest information.