Erectile dysfunction, sometimes shortened to “ED,” is a medical term used when a man is unable to maintain an erection. It happens to a lot of men, especially as they age, and can also be exacerbated by health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as issues with blood flow, hormones, and nerve functionality. Anyone who has low testosterone levels can experience ED. It’s also possible that there is no physical issue and ED is caused by psychological issues, which can be either chronic or temporary.
Unless erectile dysfunction is an ongoing concern, you might not even need to worry about it. It can happen once in a while and even if you feel embarrassed, as long as it’s not chronic it can usually be resolved with lifestyle change. Even if you do have an ongoing issue, fixing it could be as simple as making a few lifestyle changes. The healthier you are the healthier your erection is likely to be, though there are exceptions.
Medicine is available to help with ED. Most people turn to Viagra but have to consider the side effects when using the medication. It’s typically considered safe, but for some, it produces unpleasant side effects.
Another solution to erectile dysfunction is exercise. There are many different exercises you can do at home, whether you choose to take Viagra or not, which will help you alleviate problems with your erection. There is a growing body of research advocating yoga, which can also provide a number of other mental and physical health benefits.
One study showed a significant improvement among men who did yoga at home for three months. These men also reported an overall improvement in their sex lives and other aspects of daily living.
You can choose to participate in a yoga class, but it isn’t necessary. Many people find the best way to combat ED with yoga is to create a practice at home that focuses on specific poses intended to ease problems with erectile dysfunction. If you’d like to try yoga exercises to treat ED, consider some of the following poses:
- Paschimottanasana: This seated bend relaxes the pelvic muscles and promotes circulation. It has also been shown to be calming and help with depression.
- Uttanasana: This standing bend is an intense stretch that reduces anxiety, improves digestion, stimulates the organs, and may even help with infertility.
- BaddhaKonasana: Sometimes called the Bound Angel or Butterfly Pose, this bend stretches the groin and thighs, and stimulates the prostate gland.
- JanuSirsasana: This head-to-kneed bend improves flexibility by stretching the back, hips, thighs, and hamstrings. It improves lower abdomen and groin circulation and relieves stress.
- Dhanurasana: Sometimes called the Bow Pose, this bend improves circulation and stimulates the reproductive organs.
These stretches can be done on a daily basis. If you’re a beginner, try not to overdo it, especially when you begin with cold muscles. Ease into the stretches and push yourself until you feel just mild resistant. Though you might be tempted to do so, pushing too hard isn’t going to give you better results. A pleasant, mindful stretch is enough to provide results that are just as good as working your body too hard.
Strengthening the Kegel Muscles
If yoga isn’t your style or you want to do more than just yoga to deal with ED, Kegel exercises are a great option. These can even be done while you’re doing yoga stretches.
Kegel muscles strengthen the pelvic floor. Many people think of women doing Kegel exercises, especially after childbirth, because it helps them prevent bladder leakage and strengthens the muscles that were weakened during labor.
Kegels are also effective for men and strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle, which is responsible for sending blood into the penis during erections, pumping ejaculate, and emptying the urethra after urination. Many men find that Kegels not only allow them to combat erectile dysfunction, it also helps them to have a stronger, more enjoyable orgasm.
To perform Kegel exercises, locate the pelvic floor muscles by stopping your urine stream mid-way. The muscles you use to do this are the same ones you want to be working during Kegels. Squeeze the muscles for about five seconds in batches of 10 to 20 times. You can do Kegel exercises two to three times per day.
Information from a study exploring Kegels for ED treatment can be viewed here.
When people think of aerobics, they often think of the Lycra workout craze from the 1980s. This doesn’t seem as if it would do much good for erectile dysfunction, but the truth is aerobic activity is great for easing ED and many other health issues.
Aerobics aren’t necessarily one particular set of exercises. The goal is to get your heart rate up and blood pumping so most cardio exercise is aerobic. As you’re trying to improve your overall health, you don’t need to follow a single routine. Find something you’re comfortable doing and be consistent about doing it. Even a daily 30- to 40-minute brisk walk is enough for some people to see improvements with ED.
If you’re already exercising on a daily basis but experiencing issues with ED, it might be time to change things up. Add something new to your workout routine or switch to a different routine altogether and see if it helps.
As mentioned earlier, the better your health, the better your erection. Anything that helps you reach a healthy weight, avoid or control high blood sugar and diabetes, combat cardiovascular disease, and reduce unhealthy cholesterol will benefit your erection. Many people have found when they stop focusing on their erection and start focusing on feeling better overall their ED just goes away.
Despite the various remedies available for ED, for many men, the solution to resolving their problem is within their own bodies. They just need to lead a healthier life and make better choices on a daily basis. The food you eat, the thoughts you think, and the activities you do from day to day have a major impact on sexual performance. By reducing stress and improving overall health, you’re likely to see an improvement in all areas of your life, including the bedroom. You can learn more about how stress affects your health here.