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Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
1. Physical activity (aerobic) – A recent study of randomized American men aged 50-85 demonstrated that 30 minutes of physical activity every day can drastically reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) by as much as 43%.[i] Physical activity improves circulation and oxygen diffusion into the blood. Moderate – vigorous activity can include: walking, hiking, golf (carrying or wheeling clubs, using a stair climbing machine, weight training, jogging, bicycling, tennis, etc.[ii]
2. Tai Chi – This is an ancient exercise that focuses on breathing and movement. It also has many health benefits that contribute to improved reproductive functioning such as : improving muscle strength, balance, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning.[iii]
3. Yoga – Yoga is especially beneficial to health and sexual function, because it calms the nervous system, regulates breathing and other bodily functions, increases stamina, increases circulation in general, but particularly to the pelvic area, and reduces stress. Here are 5 asanas (poses) that can benefit ED: Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation), Vajrasanna (Thunderbolt pose), Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee pose), Paschimotanasana (Seated Forward Bend pose), Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle pose).[iv]
4. Kegel exercises – At home, you can do these exercises which help improve pelvic floor tone by strengthening the pubococcygeus muscle, which supports the bowel and bladder, and has an effect on sexual functions. This exercise is useful in cases of ED, premature ejaculation, urinary incontinence, and prolapse.
Read more about erectile dysfunction
Click here to see an animated video on how to perform the Kegel exercise.
[i] Loprinzi PD, Edwards M. Association Between Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Erectile Dysfunction among a Nationally Representative Sample of American Men. J Sex Med. 2015 Sep;12(9):1862-4. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12977. Epub 2015 Aug 31.
[ii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of
Nutrition and Physical Activity. Promoting physical activity: a guide for community action. Champaign, IL:
Human Kinetics, 1999. (Table adapted from Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Leon AS, et al. Compendium of
physical activities: classification of energy costs of human physical activities. Medicine and Science in
Sports and Exercise 1993;25(1):71-80. Adapted with technical assistance from Dr. Barbara Ainsworth.)
[iii] "The Health Benefits of Tai Chi." Harvard Health. Harvard Women's Health Watch, 1 May 2009. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.
[iv] Luis, Vanessa. "Yoga to Treat Erectile Dysfunction | Buzz." Indiatimes.com. Times Internet Limited, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.