Exercises To Eliminate Erectile Dysfunction
An estimated 52 percent of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction over the course of their lifetime. This potentially embarrassing urology condition can be the sign of a serious medical issue such as prostate cancer and should not be ignored, but many men seek discreet erectile dysfunction treatment options in hopes that the problem will go away and to regain proper erectile function.
Fortunately, making lifestyle changes such as doing exercises to eliminate erectile dysfunction can be an effective treatment option that also improves your chances of continence through older age.
What is erectile dysfunction and what causes it?
Erectile dysfunction is a blanket term that is used to describe having difficulty getting or keeping an erection that is hard enough for sexual performance.
There are many reasons why erectile dysfunction, also known as male impotence, can occur, but among the most common are limited blood flow or low blood pressure to the penis, and decreased sexual stimulation or sexual activity, preventing sexual function.
While getting and keeping an erection might seem simple, the reality is that it is actually a complex process. In order to achieve an erection, the brain, hormones, and blood flow must all be working together. As a result, patients can experience erectile dysfunction as a result of physical causes, lifestyle causes, psychological causes, or a combination of all of the above, which has made the condition notoriously difficult to treat.
From a physical standpoint, the five most common causes of erectile dysfunction are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), and obesity.
Psychological factors contributing to sexual dysfunction include anxiety, depression, and stress, all of which can also be exacerbated by erectile dysfunction itself.
The five most common lifestyle causes of erectile dysfunction are smoking, illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, common side effects of other prescription medications, and side effects of over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and Sudafed.
If you experience any side effects seek medical advice from your healthcare provider.
Although erectile dysfunction can be caused by many factors, it is often reversible and preventable with the implementation of certain lifestyle changes that can improve your blood flow and improve your overall physical and mental quality of life.
Recommended lifestyle modifications include:
- Increasing your exercise
- Managing your weight
- Reducing stress in your daily life
- Drinking less alcohol
- Quitting smoking
Every man experiences erectile dysfunction differently. Some may experience it constantly, while others only have the problem on an intermittent basis. Degrees of severity range from noticing a decrease in morning erections to being physically unable to get and keep an erection under any circumstances.
What exercises can you do to eliminate erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is usually the result of a combination of factors, so there are many different treatment options for the condition. Depending on the cause of erectile dysfunction, some patients may benefit from exercises to eliminate erectile dysfunction.
Identifying Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
The most popular type of exercises to eliminate erectile dysfunction are called kegel exercises. You may have heard of kegels in reference to women’s pelvic floor health, but kegel exercises can also be helpful for men.
Before starting to use kegel exercises, the first step is to learn to identify and isolate the muscles of the lower pelvis, also known as the pelvic floor.
To practice locating and engaging these muscles, try to stop the flow of your urine stream several times the next time that you use the restroom. Notice which muscles you are using to perform this action; these muscles are the ones you need to exercise in order to eliminate erectile dysfunction.
Basic Erectile Dysfunction Exercises
Once you have successfully identified your pelvic floor muscles and learned how to engage them, it is time to perform some basic erectile dysfunction exercises called kegel exercises.
In order to perform a kegel exercise, squeeze the muscles of the pelvic floor and hold the contraction for five seconds, then relax the muscles. Ultimately, your goal will be to perform between 10 and 20 repetitions of this exercise two to three times throughout the day.
The position in which you do your kegel exercises doesn’t matter. Some people prefer to do the exercises while lying down, while others perform the exercises while sitting or standing.
If you aren’t able to complete 10 repetitions on your first try, that’s ok. Just continue to practice and build up your stamina, and you’ll work your way up to completing 10 to 20 repetitions at a time.
In addition to helping eliminate erectile dysfunction, you’ll also be helping to improve your overall sexual health and experience, minimize the risk factors of experiencing urine or bowel incontinence, and eliminate dripping after urination.
Pilates Movements for Erectile Dysfunction
Pilates, a type of low-impact exercise that helps strengthen your muscles while improving stability and flexibility, also has many applications for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. You don’t have to be an expert to see improvement.
One simple pilates movement is a supine leg raise. To do this exercise, lie on the ground with your legs extended, and lift one leg off the floor while keeping your lower back pressed against the ground and your pelvis neutral. Inhale as you lower your leg back to the ground. If this exercise is too challenging with your leg extended straight, try bending your knees and planting your feet on the floor. Lift one foot, then lower back down, and lift the other.
Another movement that can help improve the strength of your pelvic floor is bent knee fallouts. To perform this pelvic floor exercise, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet pressed into the ground. Keep your spine neutral as you exhale and contract your pelvic floor muscles, dropping one knee out to the side. Lower your knee only as far as it will go while keeping your pelvic floor muscles engaged. As you inhale, return the knee to the bent position. Repeat the movement on the other side to complete the pelvic floor muscle training properly.
As noted previously, there are a number of lifestyle factors commonly associated with erectile dysfunction.
Some men may even find that lifestyle changes alone are enough to improve or eliminate erectile dysfunction entirely. Among the best lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your erectile dysfunction is to increase the amount of aerobic exercise that you do each day.
Studies have shown that even moderate cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, can significantly improve erectile dysfunction in patients with recent myocardial infarctions, and the implications indicate that many men can experience improvements in their condition with more exercise.
In addition to helping you lose weight, get in shape, and improve other markers of health that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, aerobic exercise can help improve blood flow.
Many of the health conditions that contribute to erectile dysfunction, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease, lower overall blood flow, including blood flow to the penis.
Aerobic exercise helps to improve blood flow to the entire body, including the penis, which can improve erectile dysfunction over time. The good news is that you don’t have to run a marathon to see improvements in your erectile dysfunction. Even walking briskly for 30 minutes a few days a week can be enough to improve your health and your erectile dysfunction.
What other treatment options exist for erectile dysfunction?
In addition to modifying your lifestyle to improve your overall health and engaging in the above exercises to eliminate erectile dysfunction, there are prescription treatments for erectile dysfunction. Some men may need a combination of medication and lifestyle changes in order to effectively treat their condition due to the complexity of the condition and their specific medical needs.
There are a number of brand name and generic prescription drugs currently available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, including Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Stendra (avanafil).
Each of these drugs can be taken on an as-needed basis prior to sexual intercourse in order to improve your chances of getting and keeping an erection. Cialis can also be taken as a daily prescription at a low dose to allow for spontaneous sex.
Each of the drugs available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction requires a prescription due to their potential to cause serious cardiovascular side effects and interactions with other medications.
If making a trip to the doctor’s or urologist’s office is not convenient or accessible, there are a number of men’s telehealth services, such as Hims and GetRoman, that offer a free consultation with a licensed healthcare professional in your state, as well as discounts on your medication.
Erectile dysfunction can often be improved by performing simple exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor, including kegel exercises and pilates. Additionally, aerobic exercise can help improve penile blood flow, lower your weight, and positively impact other medical conditions that may contribute to your erectile dysfunction, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
If exercises and lifestyle changes alone are not enough to eliminate erectile dysfunction, it may be possible to treat your condition with a prescription medication such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, or Stendra.
Patients can save on the cost of their prescription drugs by using a men’s telehealth service or purchasing their prescription using a pharmacy discount card from USA Rx.