Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to maintain an erection, is a problem that happens in many men for many causes. It’s often caused by physical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and low testosterone. Other causes may contain psychological issues, blood flow problems, hormonal fluctuations, and nerve damage.
Treating ED with medications like sildenafil (Viagra) isn’t your only option. Instead, there are exercises you can do.
Pelvic floor exercises improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are more usually known as Kegel exercises. Women perform Kegels in preparation for and to regain muscle tone after childbirth. Kegels also promote urinary continence and sexual health.
Kegel exercises can benefit men as well. In particular, they help to strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle. This essential muscle does three jobs: It allows the penis to engorge with blood during erection, it pumps during ejaculation, and it helps empty the urethra after urination.
The best method for locating the muscles of the pelvic floor (the lower pelvis) is to stop your stream several times in the middle of urination. The muscles you clench to do this are the ones you essential to exercise.
To perform a rep of Kegel exercises, squeeze those muscles, hold for five seconds, and then relax. Repeat this 10 to 20 times, two or three times a day. You may want to try this in different positions, including lying down with your knees up, sitting in a chair, and standing.
Beyond the basics
You probably won’t be capable to finish a complete series of 10 Kegels when you first try. That’s fine. Do what you can, and eventually work up to 10 to 20 Kegels, three times a day.
Don’t hold your breath or push with your stomach, buttocks, or thigh muscles. Remember to relax after each count of five. Alternate between short and long squeezes to challenge yourself.
- reduce urinary or bowel incontinence
- stop dribble after urination
- improve overall sexual experience
Working the muscles beyond the pelvic floor may also help combat erectile dysfunction. A study published in The American Journal of Cardiology indicates that aerobic exercise may help improve ED.
ED is often affected by blood flow problems to the penis. Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and vascular disease can affect blood flow and result in ED. Adding aerobic exercise to your routine can improve your overall health and may lead to improvements in ED.
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