Lifestyle factors can greatly contribute to sexual dysfunctions or sexual disorders – diet and physical activity is important for physical health – such as your cardiovascular or heart health, blood vessel health, blood pressure levels, blood sugar levels and metabolic health – all of which in turn can greatly impact your overall health and sexual functioning. As per sexual wellness experts, there are ways to help prevent ED symptoms.
When it comes to diet and exercise or physical activity, however, many are unaware of how it correlates with sexual dysfunctions such as Erectile Dysfunction. Here are ways that you can understand the correlation and implement these lifestyle habits.
The following exercises help strengthen the muscles around the genital area. This helps the penis in not only obtaining an erection but also by maintaining it.
Exercises for Erectile Dysfunction
Pelvic Floor Muscles exercises
These help with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Most commonly done by women to help regain muscle tone after child delivery, they also help with sexual wellness. Kegel exercises, a type of pelvic floor exercise, can particularly help improve the strength of the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles and the penile muscles. These types of exercises help improve incontinence, manage medical conditions such as prostatitis and BPH, and of course, increase male sexual pleasure by helping men have greater control over ejaculation and orgasm.
Kegel exercises that you can perform:
- Laying on your back
- Laying on your side
- Sitting down
- Standing up
In either of these above positions, squeeze the penile muscles – as though you were controlling a bathroom trip. Hold the squeeze for at least 4-5 seconds before releasing. You can repeat this up to 10 times per day.
Exercises such as brisk walking or jogging are examples of aerobic or cardio exercises — this means that they help in cardiovascular conditioning. They help in keeping the blood vessels clear, and so, can improve one’s sex life. MSDs (male sexual disorders) such as ED, are commonly caused by problems with the blood flow to the penis. Factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or concerns in weight management leading to obesity, can affect blood flow and lead to ED symptoms. Aerobic exercises help in all these conditions and improve sexual functioning.
As per a research paper, 40 minutes of aerobic exercise (moderate to vigorous) and 160 minutes of weekly exercise (of any type) for 6 months can help reduce erectile problems when with ED.
While exercises – aerobic and pelvic floor exercises – are highly recommended as a lifestyle modification while dealing with ED, it is important to remember that overdoing exercises can also stress the body which can lead to the worsening of ED symptoms. Listen to your body, and don’t push your limits.
Aerobic exercises include dancing, water aerobics, biking, walking, hiking, kick-boxing, treadmill, elliptical, etc. – essentially anything that gets your heart pumping.
Pelvic Floor Exercises include heel slides, Happy Baby Pose, diaphragmatic breathing, etc.
Pilates help with ED because they challenge your pelvic muscles strength. Besides penile and prostate health, Pilates is greatly beneficial for erectile function.
Pilates exercises that you can perform:
- Knee fallouts
- Supine foot raises
- Pelvic curl
Exercising can greatly improve physical health – including cardiovascular, blood vessel and blood flow help. It helps prevent chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney diseases, blood pressure concerns etc – all of which can help with an improvement in erectile functioning among patients with erectile dysfunction. If you have an increased risk factor for ED – we encourage you to perform Kegel and pelvic exercises at home – it’s about 30 minutes of your time a day.
A healthy lifestyle is imperative for sexual functioning, even though it is commonly ignored. Physical inactivity is discouraged as it adds to the common risks associated with ED.
Things To Remember While Exercising
If it is your first time exercising, we suggest that you speak to a trainer. However, the exercises mentioned above are not injurious to health. If you have exercise related injuries or any joint injuries, we recommend speak to your doctor before starting any physical activity regimen.
- Listen to your body, pace yourself
- Don’t overindulge in physical equipment, you can run the risk of an injury
- Make sure you’re always in a comfortable position: nothing should hurt in strength training
- Be consistent in your works, making a schedule can help
- Track your progress to encourage you to continue
- Always eat and drink well while starting a work-out regiment
- If you experience pain, breaks, or injuries, stop immediately and see a doctor
Frequently Asked Questions
(1) Will exercise cure erectile dysfunction?
Exercise or any lifestyle changes are an important part of erectile dysfunction treatments. High intensity aerobic training, flexibility training, high-intensity endurance training, pelvic floor muscle exercises all help with complete erectile function in patients with ED.
(2) Can exercise worsen erectile dysfunction?
No, exercise can’t worsen erectile dysfunction to will help you maintain a health weight. If you’re unable to exercise everyday, low intensity movement is also recommended by experts. Besides catering to a healthy lifestyle, exercise can work simultaneously with medical treatments to help with effective treatment. Daily exercise routines can change your life.