Diet and Exercise For ED: Are They Related?
A healthy diet is critical for patients with poor blood circulation and high cholesterol. Eating a healthy diet for men, exercising and taking prescribed medications are some of the few ways to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.
How Exercise Helps With Erectile Dysfunction
Regular physical activity is beneficial to improving muscle strength, endurance, and blood circulation. A common cause of erectile dysfunction is poor blood flow due to plaque buildup in the arteries and high cholesterol. Exercise improves blood flow by stimulating the body’s production of nitrogen oxide, which allows blood vessels to become more elastic and expand. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in the body. Exercise facilitates weight reduction and helps you look your best. A boost of self-confidence can help with sexual performance and improving psychological factors involved with sexual activity.
Best Exercises For Erectile Dysfunction
Aerobic Exercise (Cardio)
The best exercises to improve vascular health and increase HDL cholesterol are aerobic (cardiovascular) exercises. This includes yoga, jogging, swimming, running and brisk walking. Aerobic exercise will also help maintain a healthy heart and build muscle tone. For beginners, exercise could be started at a slower pace and gradually increase to a more vigorous intensity routine. This is necessary since going directly to a full speed exercise may cause health risks. It’s common sense but remember to move at your own pace and gradually raise intensity as you go. A 30-minute daily exercise program provides great health benefits for men with erection problems. Aerobic activity could be done either at the gym or at home.
Yoga promotes physical and mental benefits such as, building muscles strength, flexibility, heart health, and overall well-being.
Jogging or Running
Most well-known as a fat-burning weight loss exercise, running helps to reduce other contributing factors that cause ED such as high blood pressure and stress. Even walking regularly can improve physical fitness and disabilities in older people.
Swimming is an exercise that is easier on the joints. It is a great form of resistance training that can improve muscle strength and tone.
Kegel exercises (pelvic exercises)
Kegel exercises are great for strengthening core and pelvic floor muscles and effectively work in addressing erectile dysfunction. Better muscle control in the pelvic area can assist with getting and maintaining an erection.
Kegel Exercise #1 Floor lying on your back squeezes
Start this exercise by lying on your back with your hands flat on the floor. Your knees are comfortably bent and pointing upwards. Draw your penis in towards your body and hold the position for five seconds before releasing. You can do the same squeeze and release for the anus muscles as if you are stopping a bowel movement. Repeat these squeezes 8-10 times for 3-5 sets.
Kegel Exercise #2 Floor lying on your side squeezes
Start this exercise on the floor on your side. Place a pillow between your knees to spread your legs apart. Squeeze your legs together and hold the position for 5 seconds before releasing. Repeat these squeezes 8-10 times for 3-5 sets.
Kegel Exercise #3 Sitting in a chair squeezes
Start this exercise sitting in a chair. Squeeze the muscles of your penis as if you are trying to stop urine from flowing and hold this position for 5 seconds before releasing. Repeat these squeezes for 8-10 times for 3-5 sets.
Kegel Exercise #4 Standing squeezes
Once you’ve become comfortable with the above exercises, increase the regimen and frequency without overdoing it. You can even do kegel exercises and squeezes while standing.
How Diet Helps With Erectile Dysfunction
Recent studies show that over 80% of male impotency cases may be caused by a high cholesterol diet. On the other hand, around 50% of men with higher cholesterol have increasing rates of impotency than those with healthy cholesterol levels. Additional studies also show that men with total cholesterol higher than 240 milligrams per deciliter were twice as likely to have high cholesterol impotence as those with cholesterol levels below 180 mg per deciliter. There are plenty of treatments including medicines and therapies available to treat high cholesterol and erectile dysfunction. However, a healthy diet for men together with proper exercise can greatly help in lowering cholesterol and upholding sexual life.
Lowering the body’s bad cholesterol requires joint efforts in removing saturated fats in the diet. Saturated fat increases the LDL (low density lipoprotein) or also known as the bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Foods That Increase HDL In The Body
It is essential to avoid food high in cholesterol especially saturated fats (fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, and processed grain products). In contrast, HDL (high density lipoprotein) also known as good cholesterol is vital for energy production. This is helpful to patients suffering from erection problems such as erectile dysfunction and impotence.
The following are some of the foods that can help increase HDL cholesterol in the body:
Food High in Omega 3
Flax seed oil, salmon, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and walnut oil, soybeans, dark green leafy vegetables like seaweed, greens, broccoli and kale. Spring leaves, dark salad leaves, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are also high in Omega 3.
Food High in Soluble Fiber
Oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apple pulp.
Soy milk, soy patties and any other food that substitutes animal products with soy can helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL cholesterol.
A combined effort in both diet and exercise is effective in treating erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and improving sexual health. Aerobic exercises that get the heart pumping and blood flowing are great for overall body wellness and circulation. Kegel exercises strengthens the muscles that support the genital area, giving you more control over your erections. Eating well and a healthy diet gets your body the nutrition it needs while keeping cholesterol levels low.
THIS CONTENT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING A MEDICAL CONDITION.