Posted on

Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function

Physical Exercise Improves erectile dysfunctin

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to create and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity. Moderate or severe erectile dysfunction is typically the result of an underlying medical disorder.  Conditions that cause ED usually also affect blood vessels or nerves supplying the penis.

For more information, check out our “Guide to Erectile Dysfunction“.

One of the leading cause of erectile dysfunction is arterial dysfunction or any of a host of cardiovascular conditions which will ultimately lead to heart disease.  While pills, pumps, injections, and surgical procedures are available to treat erectile dysfunction, physical activity has been proven as a protective factor to improve erectile function.

The journal of The International Society of Sexual Medicine released a March 2018 systematic review on physical activity and ED.  The review suggests that the role of non-pharmacological lifestyle changes is becoming recognized by more medical practitioners as an effective way to combat erectile dysfunction. 

Aerobic Exercise Erectile Dysfunction

A comprehensive review of 10 articles concluded the following:

Recommendations of physical activity to decrease ED should include supervised training consisting of 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity 4 times per week. Overall, weekly exercise of 160 minutes for 6 months contributes to decreasing erectile problems in men with ED caused by physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases.

The American Journal of Cardiology also published a 2015 study on erectile function and a walking exercise program.  The results indicated that an unsupervised home-based progressive walking program seemed to improve erectile function in men.  All participants in the study published were at low cardiovascular risk after being discharge from the hospital following myocardial infractions.

Erection Killers

Lifestyle is Erection Killer

Blood flow and aerobic exercise improve erectile function. So why are so many Americans struggling with regular exercise? According to Scientific American, sitting for more than half of the day is a noteworthy culprit.  The article: Killer Chairs:  How Desk Jobs Ruin your Health, makes a sobering statement: “Those who sat for more than four hours a day while watching television had a 46 percent increase in deaths from any cause when compared with people who sat in front of the tube for less than two hours.”

Apparently, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction and a sedentary lifestyle are highly correlated. Many of us work behind desks and go home to watch television in our leisure time.  Dieticians and health experts put a lot of focus on what we eat.  While this is an important focus, we must also be mindful to make room in our busy routines for aerobic exercise.

erectile dysfunction cure exercise

Kegel exercises

Beyond simple aerobic exercises, kegel exercises were noted in a 2005 clinical study in which 22 out of 55 men with ED reestablished normal erectile function as a result of pelvic floor exercises. 

While kegel exercises are not aerobic exercises, they are well known for assisting women in promoting urinary continence and sexual health after child birth. Applications of Kegel pelvic floor exercises for men and male sexuality are well established as beneficial.

The science shows that pelvic floor exercises can have a positive impact on your ability to get and sustain an erection. However, you shouldn’t think of pelvic exercises as a 100% erectile dysfunction cure.

erectile dysfunction exercises

In the absence of normal and regular erectile function, rehabilitation exercises are thought to promote overall nerve and vascular recovery. The term used by Urologist to describe erectile dysfunction exercises is penile rehabilitation.  Penile rehabilitation programs are like a form of physical therapy.  These programs help men recover their erectile function by inducing erections to “exercise” the penis.

Typically, these treatment protocols are prescribed by Urologist following a prostatectomy. Erections may be stimulated through oral medications, injections into the penis, penile suppositories, or penis pumps.  Much like aerobic exercises penile rehabilitation programs improve blood flow to the penis.

Penis Pumps

Any medical intervention that creates erections will stretch blood vessels in the penis which is beneficial to penile tissues.  The advantage of using a penis pump for erectile dysfunction exercises is that multiple erections can be created and released in one exercise session with complete control of the process.

In addition to the ability to create and release multiple erections with complete control in one exercise session, cost and toxicity are also considerations that make an erectile dysfunction penis pump the penile rehabilitation treatment of choice.

Other medical interventions come with a cost for each administration regardless of whether it be a pill, penile suppository or injection that creates the erection.  Incremental costs association with using pills, injections, and penile suppositories can be prohibitive for exercise purposes.  From a cost perspective, an exercise regimen with an erectile dysfunction penis pump comes with no or very little incremental cost.

Many men choose to use pills, injections, or penile suppositories for sexual intercourse, if they are successful candidate for these options. They may then use a penis pump for erectile dysfunction exercises. So long as side effects and the potential for toxicity that comes with drugs is acceptable.

Administration of drugs introduces foreign substances into tissues and the blood stream with some prospects of experiencing adverse side effects.  Oral ED medicines are known to have side effects such as headaches, blurred vision, or upset stomach.  Painful erections that last 4 hours or longer have been reported as adverse side effects of penile injections.  This is a condition known as priapism.  So, for the purpose of ED exercises drugs may not be a choice you are willing to make.

ED Exercises

ED exercise is a term that can be applied in various ways. Medical interventions provide a form of ED exercise that stretches flaccid penile tissues.  This form of ED exercise including the use of pumps, pills, injections, or suppositories is often necessary in cases in which impotence or erectile dysfunction is defined as moderate or severe erectile dysfunction.  These conditions are a reality for men that are unable to achieve nocturnal erections or create natural erections.

Kegel Exercises are a form of ED exercise based on another 2004 study that has demonstrated effectiveness in treating erectile dysfunction.  However, this study like many others cited, does not make clear the pervasiveness of organic ED in all of the men who are participating in the study.  So, there are questions as to whether or not Kegel exercises are preventative or have the ability to reverse moderate to severe ED. 

Physical or aerobic erectile dysfunction exercise is becoming recognized by thought leaders as perhaps the best preventative ED treatment. Given the rise of obesity rates in young men, aerobic exercise is a lifestyle choice that has multiple benefits.  30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week can prevent heart disease and erectile dysfunction.