Exercise - Erectile Dysfunction
I don't know of anything that can improve erectile dysfunction as much as
exercise with the exception of Eating the Right Foods. Exercise turns back the clock: some of you will find it's literally a
of youth, especially for your sex life.
First of all, let's start with an intuitive concept: exercise
improves blood flow. Let me say that again in case you didn’t
catch the significance of it: exercise improves blood flow. And if you're
male, blood flow is what it's all about when it comes to erectile dysfunction.
In fact, I would go so far as to write a simple formula:
Exercise=Viagra. Yes, exercise has been shown to so
signficiantly improve erectile dysfunction so that it has been compared to that
blockbuster impotence drug. Sound like an exaggeration? Fitness Rx
reported that "German scientists, in a paper presented at the European
Association of Uruology Annual Meeting, found that putting men with erection
problems on an exercise program was just as effective for improving erection
capacity as taking Viagra."  And recently Hong Kong researchers
reviewed seven previously published studies and verified that "moderate and high
physical activities were associated with a lower risk of ED [Erectile Dysfunction]". 
Think of the significance of this. Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have been hailed as miracle cures for middle and senior aged men, when, in fact, the underlying root cause
of their erectile dysfunction is
often lack of exercise. Why is exercise so critical to sexual health? The reason is that your blood vessels are lined with delicate circulatory tisse called the endothelium. And guess what appendage of yours is all about having a healthy endothelium? That’s right – good erections depend
on a good endothelium and a good endothelium depends on good exercise
and diet of course.
Do you know the foods and drinks that increase erection-boosting
Nitric Oxide? Check out the
Peak Erectile Strength Diet where I show
you how to dramatically and naturally improve your erectile strength.
"Why?" you ask. Well, there are many reasons. But #1 is probably that exercise
increases Nitric Oxide , the all-important chemical which relaxes
blood vessels throughout your body including the penis.
(Nitric Oxide is very heart-protective as well.) Viagra/Cialis/Levitra work on
Nitric Oxide for this reason - actually the enzyme (nitric oxide synthase) that
breaks down nitric oxide - and relax the blood vessels that allow blood
flow into the penis.
Exercise seems to raise nitric oxide levels primarily by increasing the
bioavailability of eNOS.  Yes, that is the same enzyme that Viagra works on!
Again, this is why Exercise=Viagra, except without all the nasty, toxic side
effects. And the beauty of exercise is that it works in men with
normal or high blood pressure, old and young - everyone!
And it does something that Viagra and Cialis can never do: vascular
remodeling. This term refers to the fact that exercise.literally rebuilds small
veins and capillaries throughout your body. Vascular tissues are literally
rebuilt throughout your body when you get active.
Does this include the penis? You bet it does! Exercise increases the
"number and diameter of blood vessels" throughout the body and that is going to
be good news below the belt. 
And exercise isn't going to just help your erections in the short term - it will
help long term as well. One study examined combining a
Low Fat Diet with
exercise. The results were dramatic. Besides increased blood flow, which is
always great for erections, the participants also experienced an average 16%
drop in blood pressure, a 17% drop in cholesterol, a 19% drop in LDL and a 20%
drop in triglycerides.  These represent large drops in some of the most
important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. That means that, on top
of all the new Nitric Oxide your body is pumping out, the exercise and low fat
diet were protecting the delicate veins and arteries supplying the penis.
This study points out something else important: exercise protects you from
and improves any existing erectile dysfunction both in the short term, through
improved blood flow and increased nitric oxide, and in the long term by
protecting your entire cardiovascular system. Many studies have shown that
exercise drops triglycerides and blood pressure and both of these are key risk
factors for erectile dysfunction. (The drop in total cholesterol and LDL was
likely due to the
Low Fat Diet for the most part.)
What if you have been overly sedentary and eaten poorly most of your life?
Is there hope. One study points out that "the CHD risk factors measured in
mid-life, including age, current cigarette smoking, obesity,
hypercholesterolemia, and hypertriglyceridemia, were associated with incident ED
25 years later."  In other words, the authors point out that you have over
two decades to catch the problem before erectile dysfunction lurks at the door
and eventually comes knocking. So start now with exercising - don't put it
Exercise also raises HDL, the good cholesterol.  HDL is, generally
speaking, known for its remarkable ability to "clean up" your arteries and
protect them from artery-damaging plaque. You want plaque-free arteries
for maximum endothelial performance and minimal erectile dysfunction. HDL
also is a strong booster of nitric oxide and so it helps both short and long
term with erectile dysfunction as well.
Is erectile dysfunction always related to poor blood flow and the endothelium?
Not always actually - low testosterone can play a vital role as well.
Healthy testosterone levels are critical to the penile muscles that trap blood
for maintaining erections. As you might have guessed, one form of
exercise, weight lifting, has been found to raise testosterone in several
studies. Read this link on
How Weight Lifting Can Increase Testosterone
for more details.
Again, generally erectile dysfunction in middle age and beyond is nitric oxide
and blood flow related, but low testosterone can definitely be a root cause as
well. One thing that can help those penile mucles and improve erectile
dysfunction directly are
Kegels, which are essentially exercise for the penile
mucles that need to powerfully contract for erection. It may sound strange to
exercise muscles in the groin area, but it is an
effective and research-backed way to improve erectile dysfunction.
The bottom line is that exercise will greatly improve and likely cure
your erectile dysfunction, especially if coupled with proper diet as well. (Always
talk to your doc of course.)
Fitness Rx 7/05, p.192.
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