Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to maintain an erection, an occurrence that affects most men at some point in their life. Various factors cause ED such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, among others. Treatment of this does not happen with just medicine. One needs a complete lifestyle change. This means you stop drinking, smoking, and start exercising. Many would-be surprised by this but yes, exercise is known to improve and even stop erectile dysfunction. Here’s how.
Some of the exercises you should already be doing
Pelvic floor exercises
Muscles that are supposed to aid in maintaining an erection sometimes weaken and lose tone. Medication helps, but it is only a temporary solution. For better prevention and or cure, exercising the pelvic floor muscles will go a long way.
Pelvic floor muscles help sustain blood flow to the penis because of the pressure of the muscles on the penile veins that enables them to create an erection. Exercise opens up muscles, improves blood flow, and therefore makes all body functions efficiently.
To locate the kegel muscles, try to hold your urine while urinating. The muscles that you contract in this process are the ones you need to exercise. Once you have located these muscles, all you need to do is contract and relax them.
The exercise will touch on the Pubococcygeus Muscle
This loops from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the pelvic organs. When this muscle weakens, it is unable to prevent blood from flowing out of the erect penis. Performing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen and improve tone in the pubococcygeus. It can take 4–6 weeks before a person notices a difference in erections.
It will also touch on the Bulbocavernosus muscle.
This muscle allows the penis to fill with blood during an erection, pump during ejaculation, and empty the urethra after urination. By targeting this muscle, you should be able to have erections that last longer.
Kegels exercises go a long way
One of the most common and beneficial erectile dysfunction exercises are Kegels. You can practice kegel exercises lying down, sitting, and standing.There are three ways you can go about this particular exercise.
Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides. Exhale and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for a count of five. Inhale and release for a count of five. Once you do this several times every day, aim to reach a count of 10.
Sit with the arms at the sides and the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Using the same technique as above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of five, and release for a count of five.
Stand straight with the arms by the sides. Using the technique above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of five, and release for a count of five. Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.
Afterwards, one can challenge themselves to more exercises that involve movements like aerobics and Pilates.
Pilates exercises that you should try
These Pilates exercises activate the right group of muscles and challenge a person to maintain pelvic floor strength while moving.
The Knee Fallouts
These are a very easy form of Pilates. Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and slowly lower one knee sideways towards the ground.
Bring your knee back to centre and repeat with the other knee. Only lower your knee as far as it can go while engaging pelvic muscles. Complete at least five repetitions on each knee, with the goal of building it up to 10 repetitions on each side.
Supine foot raises
This exercise builds on knee fallouts and involves small movements. Engage the pelvic floor muscles and lift one foot straight out into the air, creating a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for a few seconds. Slowly place your foot back on the ground and repeat on the other side.
This is also called a pelvic curl. A yoga posture that opens up the pelvic muscles, stomach muscles and muscles of the ribs, bridge pose, can help in preventing and treating erectile dysfunction because of its effects on the pelvic muscles. The bridge exercises the glutes very effectively and can be a great exercise for both the prevention and cure of the problem.
Begin by lying on the floor, hands by your sides, knees bent and feet on the ground. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and lift your buttocks into the air. The weight of your body should be on your shoulders. Tighten your buttocks and hold for a few seconds. Exhale and release while slowly lay back down on the ground. Work up to 10 repetitions for the best results.
Aerobic Exercises to improve your ED
People who practised aerobic exercise four times a week saw the best results. Exercises should last at least 40 minutes, and one should maintain a steady routine of exercise for at least six months to see improvements with ED. Some of these exercises are rowing, cycling, boxing, running, among others.
These exercises will not only help potentially eliminate ED, but they will also improve the risk factors associated with erectile dysfunction. Aerobics can improve your cardiovascular health and fight against issues such as obesity while increasing your levels of activity—all of which increase your risk of living with ED.
Some final thoughts
Dealing with the underlying cause of ED is a much more effective way to improve your sexual health. If you practice Kegels every day, multiple times a day, you’re bound to notice improvements in ED. The best part is, Kegels can be done anywhere! And above all, give your body the needed time to strengthen for optimal results.