Physical Activity and Sexual Dysfunction
Erectile and sexual dysfunction is a problem in many men and while there are pills and medicines you can take, did you also know that there are at-home exercises you can do to help improve sexual function? Because it is a symptom of a larger issue, many doctors are instructed to find the root of erectile dysfunction, which can range from stress or anxiety to health problems.
Studies have confirmed that diet and particularly exercise can help restore erectile function, particularly in men under 40. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine measured the relationship between physical activities and erectile function in young, healthy men ages 18 to 40. Researchers found that improved erectile function in men under 40 increased with exercise, as well as higher rates of sexual dysfunction in sedentary men under 40.
Sexual Dysfunction Treatment
According to the Harvard Health Publications, “a man with a 42-inch waist is 50% more likely to have erectile dysfunction than one with a 32-inch waist.”
This means cardio and strength exercises and pelvic exercises. Even a small amount of physical activity (such as walking 30 minutes a day several times a week) can lower the risk of erectile dysfunction. Strong pelvic muscles enhance rigidity during erections and helps blood flow. Men are encouraged to perform pelvic floor exercises (or Kegels) to improve the strength of the muscles. Studies compared the effectiveness of pelvic exercises to Viagra and found that exercising may be the best way to prevent erectile dysfunction. Maintaining a healthy weight is just as important as exercising in terms of long-term prevention of erectile dysfunction.
“For men who have failing erections, the penis is a barometer of what’s happening in the rest of the body,” explains urologist Wayne Hellstrom, MD, professor of urology at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.
Doctors do, however, discourage against outdoor cycling. This can damage the nerves in the pelvic area, which controls erections. If you enjoy cycling, indoor cycling is deemed less hazardous because the seat is usually wider. In addition to helping with erections, exercise helps put you in the mood for intercourse, increasing desire and mood. Exercise leaves you energized, confident, and looking better as well as helps sleep cycles – all leading to a healthier sex life.
In addition to exercise, quitting tobacco and limiting alcohol can dramatically increase your sexual function. Of course, if at home remedies such as lifestyle and physical changes don’t work, see your doctor about the effects of possible emotional triggers or if medications would work best for you.