With the stress of work, relationships, schedules, and family, sex can sometimes be the farthest thing from our minds. So when the time is right to be intimate with your partner, keeping an erection as firm and satisfying as it once was can be a challenge. But there are everyday natural things you can do to restore your connection and your confidence, without having to see a doctor or take a medication.
It’s no secret that exercise is good for your health. But experts say it can also have a great impact on erectile dysfunction. Regular exercise can both prevent the development of ED and reverse it if it’s already a problem. Exercise is so effective because it:
- Helps maintain body weight, which can boost your mood, confidence, and overall health
- Promotes blood flow, which can improve the rigidity and duration of erections
- Increases nitric oxide in blood vessels, which is similar to how Viagra works
- Increases production of testosterone, which improves erectile strength and sex drive
How much should you exercise? Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise every day.
Move your penis.
Another lifestyle change is to do “penis exercises” or exercises that specifically strengthen your pelvic floor. Sources say these exercises can help relieve erectile dysfunction and improve overall sexual performance. They can also reduce urinary or bowel incontinence and prevent dribble after urination.
A common pelvic floor exercise is the Kegel, which involves squeezing and holding your pubococcygeus or PC muscles for a few minutes several times a day. These are the muscles used when you try to hold back urine mid-stream.
You can learn more here about making penis exercises part of your regimen. Rejoyn Medical also has a complete training program that can positively impact pelvic health and help in keeping an erection longer.
Check your medicines.
Another lifestyle change is to review your prescription medications. According to the Cleveland Clinic many prescription drugs, while essential for treating other conditions, can affect your hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, resulting in ED or increasing your risk.
A few of the medications that can cause ED include:
- High blood pressure medications
- Parkinson’s disease drugs
- Muscle relaxants
- Prostate cancer drugs
If you are taking any of these drugs, do not stop taking them. Instead, talk to your doctor about side effects and options.
Another lifestyle change is to stop smoking. Sources indicate men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day have a 60% higher risk of ED, compared to men who have never smoked. In addition, men who smoke now, or who used to, are about 30% more likely to suffer from impotence.
The main reason for this is that smoking causes plaque build-up in the arteries, which obstructs blood flow. These circulatory problems can directly result in ED.
If you do smoke, consult your doctor about taking active steps to stop.
Slow down on the drinks.
Finally, another lifestyle factor to consider is alcohol consumption. Research shows drinking too much can have both short- and long-term effects on sexual performance.
One study found that sober men could achieve an erection more quickly than intoxicated men. And, while a few drinks may loosen you up, drinking too much before sex decreases blood flow to the penis, reduces the intensity of orgasms, and decreases your overall excitement.
Beyond just pre-sex drinking, it’s also been found that men who are dependent on alcohol have a 60% to 70% chance of experiencing sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and loss of sexual desire.
If you do drink, remember moderation is key. Mayo Clinic describes moderate alcohol use as up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. “One drink” means 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
Keeping an erection is a common concern for millions of men, of all ages and at all stages. Making everyday changes in your lifestyle can alleviate symptoms of ED and restore your confidence in your erection and your performance. To learn more, browse our blogs. And download our free ebook All-Natural Ways to Achieve and Keep Your Best Erections.