Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on January 25, 2022
Erectile dysfunction (ED) has many possible physical or mental causes, and its effects can bring about psychological distress.
It can damage your confidence and relationships, and delay family planning. But before you start losing hope, rest assured that the odds of reversing ED or impotence are pretty high. Numerous studies have shown that many men who report ED improve by tweaking lifestyle factors including physical activities.
What you will find in this article:
Exercise has a considerable role to play while treating ED. In this blog post, we look at how movement can help you get your mojo back. And we explore specific exercises that may eliminate sexual dysfunction before you ever have to pluck up the courage to chat to your physician.
Before we dive into the exercises, you should know that you are one of many people struggling to get hard or keep an erection.
Research shows that around 3 million men of varying ages in Canada have frequent problems in the bedroom or wherever they choose to get busy. And about 30 million of the men south of the border do too. Many opt for Viagra in Canada, but there are other routes.
Read more: Where In The World Is ED Most Common?
Conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity are often linked to sexual health issues.
If you're a younger man who can't get it up, it may be an early indicator that you have heart disease, for example. Plaque buildup in the small blood vessels in your penis can block blood flow there before they do so in your wider coronary arteries, causing a heart attack. ED is, essentially, a penile heart attack.
Anyone experiencing ED who is not over the age of 50, overly stressed, or dealing with the side effects of chronic medication, should schedule an appointment with a GP or urologist to rule out underlying disease.
To begin with, you can benefit tremendously from aerobic exercise and a balanced diet low in sugar and processed foods.
Aerobic exercise facilitates weight loss, boosts mood, and lowers health risks. The higher your waist size, the higher the probability that you'll suffer from ED.
You want to get your heart pumping for at least half an hour to 40 minutes at a time. Exercise newbies should start working out three times a week and then ease into a more rigorous schedule to prevent injury, especially if you're doing moderate to vigorous workouts.
It helps to broaden your understanding of aerobic exercise. From a brisk walk in the park to an intense dance-off with your kids or grandkids, cardio exercise should be something you look forward to. Whether you swim, cycle, or play tennis, you need to enjoy the process of getting sweaty, breathless, and red-faced to build a habit.
Don't write off anaerobic exercise either, as heavy weight lifting can be effective.
It's possible that you're regularly active but still find it difficult to get an erection. Kegel (rhymes with bagel) exercises are your first port of call.
Or you may not be a viable candidate to try ED meds because you're on blood thinners, for example. In that case, your doctor will recommend pelvic floor exercises before any other treatment.
The American gynecologist Arnold Kegel came up with pelvic floor muscle training in 1948 and they've been popular ever since. Pelvic floor exercises can prevent incontinence, stop premature ejaculation, and heighten orgasms.
They have similar effects for women and are prescribed during and after pregnancy when vaginal muscles need to regain strength.
The stats in favour of doing pelvic floor exercises are promising. Various studies show that approximately 35% of participants can get rid of ED within six months of diligent effort.
But you might be wondering where or what the pelvic floor muscles are. They extend from the tailbone to the pubic bone, and they're easy enough to find; just pay attention the next time you urinate.
Your pelvic floor muscles are the ones you contract to stop peeing midstream. Try it. Stop urinating, start and stop again. You're clenching your pelvic floor muscles to make that happen, the same as you do when you're trying not to fart in public.
It's these muscles you need to condition to halt ED in its tracks, particularly as you age and all muscles weaken.
These muscles are right there around the base of your penis, and they control blood flow to your erectile tissue. A strong pelvic floor, including toned pubococcygeus (PC) muscles, provides rigidity and compresses penile veins, stopping blood from leaving your penis. You're also more likely to achieve an erection that points up.
Kegels are ideal for people who love to multitask because you can be 'exercising' while standing and cooking or sitting and working, and no one will notice.
You can even perform these movements right in the middle of sex to last a little longer. Do five rapid-fire Kegels in the manner described below when you feel like you're about to come, and it should pull you from the brink and extend the buildup.
Doing basic Kegels is as simple as squeezing your pelvic floor muscles and holding the contraction for five seconds. Then, relax for five seconds. Clenching your anus confers similar benefits. Repeat for ten reps if you can.
Implement this at least two times a day, and when it becomes easy double or triple the number of repetitions and do them thrice a day. Switch between short five-second holds and longer 10-second ones for some variety and stop if you feel any discomfort or pain.
Be sure not to work the wrong muscles, such as your stomach or leg muscles. Rather than pushing down, focus on the sensation of lifting something.
When you're carrying out the exercise correctly, you should see your penis move just a tad, or a light touch will confirm that the muscles in your testicles are tightening. For those who are amenable, you can insert a finger in your anus, and if you're able to squeeze it, you officially know how to do a Kegel.
There are pilates exercises that combine pelvic floor training and movement. Hip-strengthening supine straight leg raises are one such exercise.
Read more: Yoga For Erectile Dysfunction
Kegels cost zero dollars, so there's no reason not to test them out to restore your potency. But if you have substantial back pain, you might want to give pelvic floor training a pass in the first place.
While it can take as little as one month to achieve the results you want, it may take longer. So, don't give up if you don't instantly start noticing a change. Hang in there, and you too might go from flaccid to firm within the next quarter or two.
In addition, you should be aware that alcohol, cigarettes, vapes, weed, and illicit drugs can negatively affect your sexual performance. If you're doing these exercises and they don't seem to be making a difference, examine your other lifestyle choices.
And consider some form of talk therapy to address possible psychological causes. You'll find the most sustainable solution if you can deal with the root of the problem.
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