Erectile dysfunction is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. I mean, heck, it’s the most common sexual dysfunction in males! Of course, I understand how hard it is to get out of that nasty loop of shame and anxiety coming from the thought of never feeling pleasure again or enjoying sexy times with your lady. But fear no more, my friends, because you can fix this.
How? Well, there are a number of ways you can curb, reverse, or manage your erectile dysfunction. Doing exercises for ED is one of them. In fact, it’s a great way to start treating it without using any medication or more complicated procedures.
A little info on ED
ED or erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to maintain an erection that would be sufficient for intercourse or sexual activity in general. It can be consistently recurring, and also incidental (but that wouldn’t be enough to make a diagnosis).
Simply said, you have ED if you have continuous problems in getting your penis erected and keeping it that way for a little while, whether you’re having sex or masturbating.
ED is mainly a problem with poor circulation and can actually be a warning sign for other more serious conditions such as atherosclerosis (which is a building up of plaque on the artery walls), a potentially very dangerous condition that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Other times it can be connected to undiagnosed diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, poor diet, smoking, abuse of alcohol and drugs, lack of exercise. And it can also be a side-effect of certain medications, like antidepressants (SSRIs) and certain blood pressure medications.
Also, feel free to check out my article Can ED Be Reversed?, where I talk in greater detail about the causes of ED and when it can be managed and/or reversed.
ED can be treated in different ways. One of the first things doctors recommend is lifestyle changes such as exercise and a better diet. But, there are also medications you can take, like Viagra for example.
And when the reason behind ED is mainly psychological, then psychotherapy – like talk therapy, for example – may prove to be beneficial.
Here I want to focus solely on the exercises you can do to curb your ED and get your sex life and your confidence back on track.
All it takes is a bit of courage to make the first step, after which there’s no turning back. You’ll feel much better!
Exercises for ED
Before I begin telling you about the exercises you can start doing right away, I want to include a few statistics. Did you know that approximately 23% of men who are inactive suffer from ED? The numbers fluctuate between 23% and 40% for men who are obese.
For men who are receiving high blood pressure treatment, it’s 40%, while men who are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease – 75%! These are some worrying numbers folks. I mean the least we can do is take a little bit better care of our health and our bodies.
And doing some exercise, as well as having a better diet, is a great place to start.
So what I want to do next is take a look at these exercises for ED and show you how it’s done. It’s not an exhaustive list, of course, but it’s a good place to start.
Okay, so let’s go!
Kegel Exercises for Men
Guys, I hope you’ve heard of Kegel exercises before, if not here goes. The main job of Kegel exercises – or Kegels – is basically to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These are pretty important muscles that regulate the blood flow in the penis, and they have a big role in maintaining erections.
The muscles that constitute the pelvic floor do this by putting pressure on the veins of the penis. The pressure, then, doesn’t allow the blood to leave the area, and voila! You’ve got yourself an erection.
As the name itself says, they’re muscles attached to your pelvis. I won’t go into much detail about them here, but you’re more than welcome to check my article Kegel Exercises for Men if you want to know more about them. You can find out how to find your pelvic floor muscles, and you can also read more about the Kegel exercises in general. Here I’ll give you the most important stuff that concerns ED in particular.
Kegels can be good for a number of things – better erections, longer and stronger orgasms, they help maintain bladder control, and can also help men who are struggling with premature ejaculation.
And as you can see, they’re also pretty good when it comes to erectile dysfunction. The kegel exercises strengthen and work up the pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel exercises you should try for ED
Okay, so here I’m going to give you three types of Kegels you can try for your ED. They’re basically exercises for activating your pelvic floor muscles, to be done in three different positions.
Exercise #1: Learning how to activate your pelvic floor muscles
As you can see, this exercise will teach you just that – to know how to activate your pelvic floor muscles. It’s a pretty simple exercise, but nevertheless also pretty important.
- First of all, lie down on the floor, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms by your sides.
- Okay, so now try squeezing your pelvic floor muscles – count to three.
- Release your hold of the muscles.
Here it might be a good idea, especially if you’re new to it, to give yourself some time to find and identify the muscles you need. Sometimes men make a mistake by contracting the leg, stomach or buttock muscles instead of their pelvic floor muscles.
Exercise #2: Activating your pelvic floor muscles while sitting
This is a variation of the first exercise.
- Sit on the floor, and put your arms on the sides. Put your feet flat on the floor, and make sure they’re about a hip’s width apart from each other.
- Now squeeze the muscles for about 3 seconds and then release them.
Exercise #3: Doing pelvic floor exercise while standing
And another way to do Kegels is by standing. So yeah, you can do them even while waiting in line in the grocery store!
- Just stand straight, with the feet about a hip’s width apart.
- And voila! Start squeezing those muscles for about 3 seconds and then release them.
And that’s it. It’s pretty easy, right?
Try to alternate between contracting your pelvic floor muscles between 3-5 seconds. When you relax them, also do that for about 3-5 seconds.
My advice is to repeat this at least 10 times (in a row), before you finish for the day. But it’s actually an even better idea to do the Kegels a couple of times a day. Say, you can do them in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. The great thing about it is that you can do these exercises anywhere! Nobody can see you exercising, anyway, so you can even do them while at work.
Just make sure that you’re not squeezing any other muscles, like the buttocks, the stomach or the leg ones. Basically, when you’re correctly activating the pelvic floor muscles, you should be able to feel a contraction more in the back of your pelvic area, and not that much in the front.
Pilates Exercises for ED
Yes, there are also other types of exercises, besides the Kegel ones, that you can try for your ED. Like pilates exercises, for example.
The ones I’m going to write here are pilates exercises that target the muscles of the pelvic floor region, and this time you’re going to be moving a bit more than the ones above.
Pilates exercise #1
Okay, so we’re starting with an exercise for beginners. Only small movements this time, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.
- Lie down on the floor. Put your feet flat on it, and your arms by your sides.
- Make sure to have your spine in a neutral position, but also leave a small amount of space between the floor and your middle back.
- Now squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, and start slowly lowering one of your knees towards the floor. Do this in parallel – lower your knee as you’re squeezing your pelvic floor muscles, and don’t forget to keep your pelvis as stable as possible.
- Release the pelvic floor muscles. Now you can also bend your knee again.
Pilates exercise #2
This exercise also revolves around small movements.
- Again, lie down on the floor and bend your knees. Put your arms on the sides and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for at least 3 seconds, and at the same time raise one of your feet off the floor, slowly. Make sure to keep still your spine and pelvis.
- Stop the pelvic floor squeezes, and put your feet back on the ground.
- Do it again, but this time work your other side.
Pilates exercise #3
This one is one of the most common pilates exercises.
- For this, you will need to lie down again on the floor. Bend your knees and keep your feet aligned with the floor. Put your arms on your sides. Make sure your spine is in a neutral position, and leave a small space between the floor and the middle of your back.
- Start squeezing those pelvic floor muscles!
- As you do this, tilt your pelvis towards your navel, aka upwards. At the same time, keep your back pressing flat against the floor.
- Stop the pelvic floor squeezes and slowly get back to the floor.
You can do each of these exercises for 4-5 times, alternating between sides. Try to reach 10 repetitions for each side.
A few words of advice
When you start exercising again, after a long period of inactivity, and especially if you’re in a bad shape, you have to remember a couple of things.
First of all, don’t bite off more than you can chew. What I’m trying to say here is – don’t force yourself into a regime of exercise that’s above your current competence levels, because you might risk injuring yourself, for one, which will make exercising difficult, if not impossible for a while. This, in turn, may cause a chain of events where you lose motivation to continue exercising, and that’s simply no good.
So what do you do?
Well, the simplest (and in my opinion – best) approach is to start with simple exercises. Like aerobic activities, for example. Almost everyone can do that.
Walking for at least thirty minutes a day? Don’t tell me you can’t do that. Or take a swim in your local pool? Getting on that long forsaken bike in your garage and having a nice ride throughout your neighborhood or the nearby park?
After you start doing simple things that you have done before, you can start increasing the pace, and the distance you pass, every week. You’ll notice how quickly you will progress. In a couple of weeks’ time, you are going to be able to jog for a few miles without stopping, or you can play football or tennis if that’s more up your alley. Boxing is another option, for those who like rougher sports. And if you’re more of the water guy, then try swimming or rowing. Or, you know, you can always also join a gym.
Aim for high-intensity exercises
Okay, so if you wanna fight and curb ED the proper way, you have to strengthen your blood circulation – also the proper way. And this means the intensity of your exercises must be either moderate or high.
Meaning what? Well, it means having to sweat a lot, and feel pretty warm, your pulse has to increase, your face will become red, and you will even feel a bit breathless, which is not a bad thing. It just means you’re doing the right intensity to fix your circulation. Like, if you find it difficult to have or keep up a conversation during exercise, then you’ve got a jackpot.
Did you know that “three-quarters of erection problems are linked to atherosclerosis,” which, by the way, is “a condition typically triggered by lifestyle factors, such as obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking.”
And if you know that an early stage of atherosclerosis is behind your ED, then you’d have to do about “160 minutes of physical activity weekly for six months,” after which you will probably feel improvements in your erectile functions.
Just make sure to keep those engines running. Keep up with exercises daily. You don’t have to do high-intensity exercises every day (3 times a week is a good start). But you can certainly do the Kegels every day. It won’t take any of your time, and the more you do them, the better it is for your pelvic floor muscles, basically. As I mentioned earlier, 3 times a day would be great for the Kegels.
Don’t forget about your diet either
Introducing a healthy diet, along with your exercise routine is a win-win combination. Sure, cardiovascular health can be improved with high-intensity exercises, but it won’t be complete without a good diet.
That means throwing out sugary, fatty, or too salty foods, and less red meat, or white flour products. It means including more veggies and fruit, more foods that contain fiber and protein. And it also means minimizing the intake of alcohol and cigarettes.
Like, for example, you can try and replace sugary alcoholic drinks, or beverages like beer that have lots of carbohydrates, with wine. Red wine, rose or white wine, whatever you like. But don’t overdo it with the wine either! A glass or two per day is fine, but more than that, and you risk getting excessive calories and also causing other disturbances to your system.
I would advise you to make a weekly meal plan, so you can know a few days in advance what you’re going to eat. This will keep you on track better, and you’ll be less inclined to fall into the temptation of falling back into your old unhealthy food habits.
I mean it’s fine if you eat that juicy hamburger once in a while, or indulge in that really alluring cake. Just don’t make it your everyday diet, is all I’m saying.
You can check out this interesting article by the Harvard Medical School that looks into the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
So, fellas, there is a way out of the hellhole that can be ED. It’s called healthy living, and we all have to practice it.
A life in which exercise and proper diet have a permanent and regular place is a life in which we spare ourselves of many possible wrong turns in terms of our health.
I know how difficult it can be to start, especially if you haven’t exercised in ages. Easier said than done, right? If you struggle immensely with motivation and you can’t get yourself to make that first step, then try talking to a professional.
Go talk to a professional trainer, nutritionist, doctor, psychotherapist… It’s always a good idea to be evaluated by a professional – you know, your fitness level, what kind of foods you should eat… Also, you might want to get a training program designed just for you and your needs. That way you’ll always have a structure to fall back into once you have a relapse of some sort. And you’ll be able to notice your progress better and more precisely.
And you can also just try anyone you think might help you get there. Even a trusted friend or your partner can be of great help. For some people exercise is just done in two or more, maybe even in a group. If that’s the case, then get to work, organize that group or go join one.
There’s no better time than tomorrow, or even today, to start, right?