5 Healthy Tips to Minimize the Risk of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common health condition where a man finds difficulty having or sustaining an erection. Erectile dysfunction becomes more common as men age, but it is not necessarily a normal part of aging. ED is said to affect four out of every ten men over the age of 50, and it is usually treated with drugs like Viagra.
Obesity, chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer and other medical conditions can cause erectile dysfunction. While it affects a good percentage of older men, not every man above 50 has ED. To a large extent, the risk of erectile dysfunction can be greatly reduced. These 5 health tips are known to minimize the risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
1. Your Diet
Your diet can either increase or reduce your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction. Any diet that is bad for a man’s heart is also not good for his ability to have erections. If you have ED concerns, then you should avoid or moderate your consumption of fatty, sugary and high-calorie meals like hamburgers, pizza, and fried chicken.
According to the studies, men whose diet contained plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, heart-healthy fats, and fish — with little red meat and processed grains — were less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Adding watermelon to your diet can also reduce your chances of ED. Watermelon contains a very high concentration of Citrulline, an amino acid which has been found to improve blood flow to the penis, thus, improving erection. Eat right, and you can avoid the much dreaded erectile dysfunction.
2. Watch Your Weight
As you stick to a healthy diet, it is important to note that your weight also matters. Being obese or overweight can result in a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, which can cause nerve damage throughout the body. If diabetes affects the nerves that supply the penis, ED can result.
3. Frequent Exercise
Exercise is an active way of treating erectile dysfunction, and a great way to also keep ED at bay. There are strong evidences which link a sedentary lifestyle to erectile dysfunction. Aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling, rowing or playing most sports, improves your heart health and can reduce the effects of erectile dysfunction.
According to a study published by Harvard, men who walk for about 30 minutes every day showed a 41 percent drop in risk for ED. Other research suggests that daily moderate exercise can help restore sexual performance in obese middle-aged men.
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises have also been proven to be a great way of avoiding ED. These can help improve blood flow to the penis and strengthen the muscles around your groin. You can do these almost anywhere – clench your pelvic muscles and hold for 5 seconds, and then release. Do this a couple of time, alternating between sitting and standing.
To get the best out of these Kegel exercises, you should repeat them 2 to 3 times a day. While exercising is great, watch out for any exercise that puts excessive pressure on the perineum – an example is cycling. An occasional short ride is unlikely to cause trouble. But men who spend a lot of time biking should make sure their bike fits them properly, wear padded cycling pants, and stand up frequently while pedaling.
4. Don’t Get Hooked
Alcohol and tobacco are the two common drugs people get hooked to, and erectile dysfunction is one of many health conditions they cause. While mild or even moderate alcohol consumption may not be bad for erectile function, heavy drinking can cause liver damage, nerve damage, and other conditions that can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Smoking, on the other hand, does not need to be in excess to cause erectile dysfunction. When taken over a period of time, cigarettes can harm blood vessels and curb blood flow to the penis. Nicotine makes blood vessels contract, which can hamper blood flow to the penis.
Steroids are another known cause of erectile dysfunction. These drugs, which are often abused by athletes and bodybuilders, can shrink the testicles and sap their ability to make testosterone. Another factor to consider is recreational drugs, this can also be a reason that you might experience erectile dysfunction.
These effects can continue even when the effects of the substance feel like they’ve worn off. Before taking any drug, speak with your physician or a certified online doctor to find out if the drug you are taking affects erections.
5. Avoid Stress, High Blood Pressure, and High Cholesterol Levels
Stress, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels are all bad news to a man’s erection. Stress increases the levels of the hormone adrenaline, which makes blood vessels contract. So, do anything you can to ease tension and feel better emotionally. It is likely to give his sex life a big boost.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are known to damage blood vessels, including those that bring blood to the penis. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, it is best to get it treated. If left to linger, it will eventually lead to erectile dysfunction.
As an additional tip, you should have a regular sleep pattern. Poor sleep patterns can be a contributing factor for erectile dysfunction. An article published in the journal Brain Research noted that testosterone levels increase with improved sleep, and lower levels are associated with sexual dysfunction.