Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a male’s inability to maintain an erection, which is a problem that affects many men, for many reasons. It’s often caused by physical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and low testosterone. Other causes may include psychological issues, blood flow problems, hormonal fluctuations and nerve damage.
Treating ED with medications like sildenafil (Viagra) isn’t your only option. Instead, there are exercises you can do.
According to a study (1), the leading cause of ED is arterial dysfunction, with cardiovascular disease as the most common comorbidity. Therefore, ED is typically linked to a web of closely interrelated cardiovascular risk factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.
Physical activity (PA) has proved to be a protective factor against erectile problems and it has been shown to improve erectile function for men affected by vascular ED. This systematic review estimated the levels of PA needed to decrease ED for men with physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and manifest cardiovascular diseases.
ED doesn’t have to ruin your life
ED isn’t necessarily best treated by popping a pill. There are many methods for conquering ED and reclaiming your sex life that doesn’t involve medication. Simple pelvic floor exercises are a great place to start.
You can perform Kegel exercises anywhere, anytime. Put a note in your calendar if you have a hard time remembering. (2)
Doing Kegels is considered a good sex exercise for men because these exercises can help endurance and control by toning the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles — the ones that let you stop the flow of urine mid-stream. Named after Los Angeles physician Arnold Kegel, they strengthen the muscles in your body’s pelvic floor, which can lead to better sex.
To do Kegels, start by interrupting urine flow when going to the bathroom to get familiar with your PC muscles. After that, you can do Kegels anytime and any place by squeezing the PC muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, and do as many reps as you can before tiring. (3)
Dealing with the underlying cause of ED is a much more effective way to improve your sexual health. Talk with your doctor about your ED to find out which treatment methods are suitable for you.
It is essential to find opportunities for physical activity every day in as many ways as you can. A variety of exercises, including resistance or strength training, cardiovascular and aerobic activities, are important.
It is vital to seek the support of an exercise professional if you have chronic conditions. Appropriate exercise will play a big part in positively managing your health and well-being. Well managed chronic conditions can lead to improved sexual function.