Exercise for stronger erection

Contents

3 exercises designed to help improve erectile dysfunction

There’s nothing better than the buzz you get after an intense session in the gym.

But exercise does more for you than simply fill you with a feeling of euphoria. It can also help you get stronger erections. We look at the science behind exercise and erections – and give you 3 types of exercises that will maintain and improve your erectile function.

1. Aerobic exercise and erectile dysfunction

Any exercise which increases your heart and breathing rate is known as aerobic exercise – so that includes many different types of exercise, from football, running and badminton to spinning, dancing and swimming.

This type of exercise has been shown to help reduce erectile dysfunction. One reason for this is because aerobic exercise lowers blood pressure.

High blood pressure can damage blood vessels, and this damage may lead to cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of erectile dysfunction.

If the lining of the blood vessels (known as the endothelium) becomes damaged and inflamed, this can also disrupt nitric oxide (NO) production.

NO is one of the key molecules involved in getting an erection. It works by dilating (widening) blood vessels in the penis, allowing more blood to flow into it, which is how an erection takes place. Anything that disrupts its production is bad news for strong erections.

But studies have shown that aerobic exercise can improve both endothelial function and NO production. This, by contrast, is great news for strong erections. And it gets better.

Exercise also has a whole host of other benefits for your cardiovascular system – and therefore your erections. These include:

  • Reduction of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) levels in the blood, as well as the total level of cholesterol
  • Reduction in body weight (obesity is associated with cardiovascular disease)
  • Increase in insulin sensitivity (exercise increases the body’s ability to control glucose levels in the blood)
  • Increase in “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins)

To see an improvement in erectile dysfunction, one research paper recommended that those experiencing ED engage in aerobic exercise “of moderate to vigorous intensity 4 times per week for 40 minutes”.

They reported that 160 minutes of exercise a week for 6 months “contributes to a decrease of ED” for men experiencing ED due to physical inactivity, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

2. Resistance training and erectile dysfunction

Resistance training (which includes weightlifting) has also been shown to help improve cardiovascular health. And as we’ve mentioned, cardiovascular health is intrinsically linked to erectile health.

When resistance training was combined with aerobic exercise in a series of trials, men who responded positively to the physical exercise regimen experienced a 15% improvement in erectile function.

Other benefits of resistance training for cardiovascular health include:

  • Weight loss (calories are burned as a result of increases in lean body mass and basal metabolism)
  • Prevention and management of diabetes (which is associated with ED)

3. Pelvic floor exercises (aka Kegels)

The third and final exercise which may be of benefit if you have erectile dysfunction is pelvic floor exercise (Kegels).

Kegels can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, bowel, and may have an impact on sexual function.

A small study has shown that Kegels might be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Unlike some aerobic and resistance exercises – which can be quite difficult if you’re not used to physical exercise – Kegels are easy. In fact, you can do them right now as you read this article.

Here’s how to do them:

1. Identify the pelvic floor muscles: To find the pelvic floor muscles, you can either stop urination midstream or squeeze the muscles that stop you from passing gas.

2. Strengthen the pelvic floor muscles: Once you have located your pelvic floor muscles, try squeezing them for three seconds, then relax for three seconds. Try it in your seat now.

To properly strengthen them, leading academic medical centre Mayo Clinic recommends doing three sets of 10 repetitions daily.

When you do your Kegels, try not to contract the muscles in your pelvis or thighs. The goal is to focus your attention on contracting the pelvic floor muscles.

The bottom line

Exercise is an essential part of maintaining erectile health. It protects against cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of ED, and has a myriad of other benefits such as reducing body weight, managing blood glucose levels, and reducing “bad” cholesterol.

Exercise can help treat erectile dysfunction

Exercise impacts mental as well as physical health, which both directly affect a man’s interest in sex and his ability to get an erection.

Whilst exercise alone does not compare to the effectiveness of prescription medication, it can be an effective means of treating erectile dysfunction (ED), and can prevent it occurring in the first place. We take a look at exactly how exercise can help treat ED, including exercises you can try to help strengthen your erection.

1. Improves circulation to your penis

Since an erection depends on a network of blood vessels to trap blood in your penile tissue, any disturbances to this system or the blood flow it receives can result in ED.

Exercise helps to maintain blood circulation to this region and strengthens your heart so it can pump blood more effectively when at rest. As you exercise, your blood vessels dilate and more capillaries open so that blood can effectively be moved to where it is needed. Much of this blood is routed via the genital region, opening the network of vessels which feed the penis. The region will receive an improved circulation as a result even when your body is at rest, and increased blood flow to the skin itself brings the added benefit of greater sensitivity.

2. Strengthens muscles involved in maintaining erections

Targeted exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which contribute to the hardness of an erection. The main muscle in question is called the bulbocavernosus muscle and is located between your frontal pubic bone and anus. It aids blood flow to the penis and can help stop blood from leaving the penis once it’s erect.

Studies have shown that performing regular kegel exercises which target pelvic floor muscles can help reduce ED within a few months. As well as being a practical solution to reverse ED, performing kegels can help protect against the condition developing in the first place.

Read our guide on how to perform kegel exercises.

3. Reduces health problems causing ED

Approximately 70% of all ED cases are the result of underlying health issues, but regular exercise can help reduce your risk of developing these. The main culprits are heart disease, diabetes, and atherosclerosis (hardened arteries), but exercise can keep the main risk factors for these health problems in check.

  • Exercise lowers blood pressure – a consistently high blood pressure (hypertension) can damage your arteries and cause them to harden, limiting the flow of blood to the penis and leading to cardiovascular problems. Exercise works to reduce the force required to pump blood around your body, protecting your artery linings as a result. You should aim to have a blood pressure less than 140/90mm Hg.
  • Strengthens your heart – ED is one of the earliest signs of a heart problem, but exercise directly affects your heart’s health. Your heart is a muscle and exercise can strengthen it by making it pump more effectively.
  • Lowers blood sugar – uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to type-2 diabetes which causes serious damage to blood vessels and limits the flow of blood to the penis. Exercising will make your muscles absorb more glucose from the blood, causing your blood sugar level to stay low.
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight – Exercise is a crucial strategy for maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity puts extra strain on your heart, and contributes to diabetes and vascular disease. As discussed above, both these conditions are linked to a reduced blood flow to the penis.

4. Addresses psychological contributors to ED

Exercise can help you get in the mood. The endorphins released by exercise can boost your sense of wellbeing, often increasing your libido as a result.

Investing time in your body by exercising is an important means of addressing psychological issues which may be contributing to your ED. Low self-esteem and body image can feed into sexual dysfunction, but exercise can be a great way of helping you improve self-image and work to overcome these psychological barriers to intimacy.

However, if your ED has a deeper psychological cause you may want to consider therapy for ED.

Want to get started?

Pumped to start exercising but not sure how to get back into it? Together with rugby star Matt Dawson, we’ve put together a 4-week exercise plan to get you back into the swing of things.

We’ve also put together a few tips on how you can boost your heart’s health.

If you suffer from long-term ED, exercise may not be enough.

Compare the most effective ED prescription medications available.

Compare ED medication >

Apr 13, 2016Dr Anup Jethwa

Do erectile dysfunction exercises help?

Share on PinterestExercise may treat the some of the causes of ED.

Pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels, are the most beneficial for ED.

These exercises target the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, and particularly one called the pubococcygeus. This loops from the pubic bone to the tailbone and supports the pelvic organs.

When this muscle weakens, it is unable to prevent blood from flowing out of the erect penis.

Performing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen and improve tone in the pubococcygeus. It can take 4–6 weeks before a person notices a difference in erections.

1. Activating pelvic floor muscles

This exercise is simple but important. It teaches a person to activate their pelvic floor muscles.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Exhale and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three.
  • Inhale and release for a count of three.
  • Take time identifying the right group of muscles — those at the bottom of the pelvis. It can be easy to accidentally contract other muscles instead, particularly those of the stomach, buttocks, or legs.

2. Sitting pelvic floor activation

  • Sit with the arms at the sides and the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Using the same technique as above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
  • Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.

3. Standing pelvic floor activation

  • Stand straight with the arms by the sides, and the feet hip-width apart.
  • Using the technique above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
  • Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.

Once a person is comfortable performing Kegel exercises three times a day, it can help to add exercises that involve more movement.

Pilates exercises to try

These Pilates exercises activate the right group of muscles and challenge a person to maintain pelvic floor strength while moving.

4. Knee fallouts

This is a beginners’ exercise that involves small movements.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Keep the spine in a neutral position, with a small space between the middle of the back and the floor.
  • Exhale, squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, and slowly lower one knee to the floor. Only lower it as far as possible while maintaining activation of the pelvic floor muscles. Keep the pelvis stable.
  • Inhale, release the muscles, and bend the knee again.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Start with four or five repetitions on each side and build up to 10.

5. Supine foot raises

This exercise builds on knee fallouts and involves small movements.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Exhale, engage the pelvic floor muscles, and slowly raise one foot off the floor. Keep the pelvis and the spine still.
  • Inhale, lower the foot back to the ground.
  • Alternate sides.

6. Pelvic curl

This exercise is common in Pilates.

  • Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
  • Keep the spine in a neutral position, with a small space between the middle of the back and the floor.
  • Exhale, and engage the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Tilt the pelvis upward toward the belly button, while pressing the back flat against the floor.
  • Slowly lift the buttocks and push the heels into the floor.
  • Squeeze the buttocks while lifting it and the lower and middle back.
  • The body’s weight should be resting on the shoulders.
  • Take three breaths and squeeze the buttocks and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Slowly lower the buttocks and back, vertebra by vertebra, to the floor.
  • Repeat three to four times initially, and build up to 10 repetitions.

Erectile Dysfunction Exercises: Do They Work?

There’s also an aspect of ED treatment that’s less visible than medication: exercise. Like the body’s other muscle groups, the pelvic floor muscles that surround your penis can be trained and strengthened, potentially improving your sexual performance and erection quality.

In this guide, we’ll look at the most common erectile dysfunction exercises and the effects they can have on your erection quality, sexual performance and overall quality of life. We’ll also look at some of the scientific study data exploring the efficacy of ED exercises for men.

Erectile Dysfunction Exercises: The Science

Although there’s less science on the use of exercises than medication for treating ED, there are several studies that look at the effects of pelvic floor exercises for men.

One study from 2005 involved 55 men aged 20 years of age or older, all of whom had suffered from some form of ED for at least six months. The men were split into groups, one of which was instructed to perform pelvic floor exercises and make lifestyle changes; the other, to only make lifestyle changes.

The pelvic floor exercises were taught by a physiotherapist, and men were instructed to perform them on a regular basis over the course of the study.

After three months, the men treated with a combination of pelvic floor exercises and changes to their lifestyles had a significantly greater rate of recovery than participants in the control group, suggesting that erectile dysfunction exercises could be an effective treatment for ED.

Beyond specific pelvic exercises, any form of aerobic exercise can potentially improve erection quality. One study from 2011 closely links aerobic exercise (such as running, cycling or rowing) with improvements in erection quality and a reduction in ED symptoms.

In short, erectile dysfunction exercises do work, and exercise in any form is likely to help reduce the negative effects of ED. The more active you are, and the better conditioned your pelvic floor muscles are, the more likely it is you’ll be able to improve your erection quality.

How Do Pelvic Floor Exercises Work?

The pelvic muscles surround the base of the penis and testes. While most of us associate pelvic floor exercises (also known as “kegel exercises”) with women, men also benefit from training the pelvic floor muscles for extra strength and control.

Although you may not notice it, you use your pelvic floor muscles frequently over the course of the day. When you pee, you relax your pelvic floor muscles, only to clench them as you finish to reduce to stop the flow of urine. The pelvic floor muscles also help to control your bowels.

Your pelvic floor muscles also play a role in helping you develop and maintain an erection — one reason why training them can be a great way to manage and treat erectile dysfunction.

Sample Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises for Men

Exercising the pelvic floor muscles is a relatively simple process. You won’t need any special equipment, nor will you need to train your muscles intensely. For most men, a few minutes of daily pelvic floor exercises can, over the course of several months, help to treat ED.

  1. Start by identifying your pelvic floor muscles. You can do this by tensing your muscles as you would if you were trying to stop yourself from peeing. When you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, you’ll feel the muscles “lift” into your torso and tighten up your entire pelvic area.
  2. Hold the squeezing motion and count to eight. Once you reach a count of eight, you can relax your pelvic floor muscles. Give yourself an eight-second rest, then repeat the exercise, again counting to eight.
  3. Repeat this process until you’ve squeezed and released the muscles eight to ten times, then take a rest for a minute or two. Most experts recommend repeating this process for three sets of eight to ten motions, with a short break in between each set.

Since pelvic exercises are simple and don’t require any equipment, you can do them while you watch TV, read a book or use the computer. On average, it should only take a few minutes per day to complete a full set of pelvic floor exercises.

Can Pelvic Floor Exercises Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

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% cure for ED.

Erectile dysfunction can occur for a variety of reasons, from physical (high blood pressure, age or hormonal issues) to psychological. Most of the time, pelvic floor exercises can be one part of an effective ED treatment, along with other treatment options such as ED medication.

As well as potentially improving your erection quality, pelvic floor exercises can have a variety of other benefits. Many men report better bladder control after implementing pelvic floor exercises into their daily routine; some even report more intense orgasms.

Since pelvic floor exercises only take a few minutes a day and can easily be done while you’re watching TV or using the computer, there are very few reasons not to add them to your erectile dysfunction prevention routine.

Step-by-step guide to performing Kegel exercises

Updated: September 16, 2019Published: January, 2015

Doing Kegels right means find your pelvic floor muscles and working them.

Kegel exercises won’t help you look better, but they do something just as important — strengthen the muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles can go a long way toward warding off incontinence.

These exercises were developed in the late 1940s by Dr. Arnold H. Kegel, an American gynecologist, as a nonsurgical way to prevent women from leaking urine. They also work for men plagued by incontinence.

Although Kegel exercises themselves are simple, finding the right muscles to exercises isn’t. One-third or more of women and men who do Kegels are actually working their abdominal, buttock, or inner thigh muscles. They don’t reap the benefits of the exercises.

Locate your pelvic muscles

Several techniques can be used to find the right set of muscles to exercise.

Women:

  • Pretend you are trying to avoid passing gas.
  • Pretend to tighten your vagina around a tampon.

Men:

  • Pretend you are trying to avoid passing gas.
  • While urinating, try to stop your urine stream.

If you’ve identified the right muscles, you’ll feel the contraction more in the back of the pelvic area than the front.

Practice contractions

Choose your position. Start by lying on your back until you get the feel of contracting the pelvic floor muscles. When you have the hang of it, practice while sitting and standing.

Contract and relax

  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Relax for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Repeat the contract/relax cycle 10 times.

Keep other muscles relaxed. Don’t contract your abdominal, leg, or buttock muscles, or lift your pelvis. Place a hand gently on your belly to detect unwanted abdominal action.

Extend the time. Gradually increase the length of contractions and relaxations. Work your way up to 10-second contractions and relaxations

Aim high. Try to do at least 30 to 40 Kegel exercises every day. Spreading them throughout the day is better than doing them all at once. Since these are stealth exercises that no one notices but you, try to sneak in a few when waiting at a stoplight, riding an elevator, or standing in a grocery line.

Diversify. Practice short, 2 to 3 second contractions and releases (sometimes called “quick flicks”) as well as longer ones.

Kegel exercises in an emergency

If you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, bend over, or lift something heavy (stress incontinence), doing one or more Kegels before a “trigger” may be enough to prevent any leakage. If you have the urge to urinate and doubt you are going to make it to the toilet, doing Kegels may get you safely to a restroom.

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

How Can You Get Stronger Erections (Without Medication)?

Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

4 Ways to Get Stronger Erections without ED Medication

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Eat a healthy diet
  3. Sleep more
  4. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes

Getting an erection is a complicated process It involves your heart, head, hormones, blood vessels, nerves, and even your mood. But erectile dysfunction is largely about inadequate blood flow. You can get stronger erections without medication by improving your heart health and blood flow.

An erect penis contains up to 8x the amount of blood as a flaccid penis. Anything you can do to increase your overall cardiovascular health and blood flow goes a long way towards treating or even preventing ED. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to get stronger erections without taking erectile dysfunction medication.

How to Get Stronger Erections with Exercise

On average, your heart beats 100,000 times a day and pumps over 2,000 gallons of blood throughout your body. That’s enough blood to fill an Olympic pool every year. Your heart is incredibly strong, but you need to take care of this vital muscle. Exercise is one of the best ways to strengthen your heart (and your erections). It also increases stamina, strength, and flexibility, which are all important in the bedroom.

How to Get a Stronger Erection with Diet

Several studies, like the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, have linked a healthy diet to reduced risk for ED. A good diet also helps reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity (both risk factors for ED). The goal is to increase your fruits, veggies, and grains and reduce your intake of processed foods, sugar, and red meat.

Men who eat less red meat, processed foods, and sugar, and eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction

Obesity is a primary risk factor for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction. Extra belly fat interferes with your ability to send enough blood to the penis. It can even damage blood vessel lining and cause testosterone levels to drop.

Even a small decrease in body fat can improve erectile dysfunction (among many other things). Eating a heart-healthy diet that’s low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and high in “good” fats can help lower your risk for the cardiovascular conditions associated with obesity.

Sex Tip: It helps if you avoid large meals before having sex. Erections are mostly about blood flow. Eating a big meal diverts blood towards digesting your food, and away from giving you an erection. It’s also a good idea to avoid large meals even when you’re taking erectile dysfunction medications. Because a fatty meal can block absorption of the medication, making it less effective.

How to Get Stronger Erections with Sleep

Lack of sleep can increase your risk of heart attack, slow your metabolism, weaken your immune system, and cause erectile dysfunction. Sleep deprivation and even sleep apnea can decrease testosterone levels. And a dip in testosterone can lower your libido, making it harder to diagnose ED.

Life is hectic. But getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night is one of the best things you can do for your health. And your erection.

How to Get Stronger Erections: Avoid Alcohol & Cigarettes

Erectile dysfunction is extremely common in men who:

  • Smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day
  • Drink more than three alcoholic drinks a day

Smoking damages your blood vessels, which are a big part of getting an erection. In fact, men who smoke are twice as likely to experience ED as non-smokers. The good news is that quitting smoking can improve your health (and your erection) almost immediately.

In the short term, alcohol relaxes the soft muscle tissues in the penis. This stops blood vessels from closing and trapping enough blood to get an erection. In the long run, excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage, high blood pressure, and damage to blood vessels resulting in erectile dysfunction. Alcohol is also a nervous system depressant that can block messages between the brain and the body. (It’s why people get slurred speech when they drink).

Bottom line: reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking will improve your overall health and sexual performance.

The Secret to a Stronger Erection without ED Medication

ED medications work better if men make all the changes that lead to improved health. It’s that simple. Eat better, exercise regularly, sleep more, and avoid alcohol and cigarettes and you’re likely to get stronger, more frequent erections—even without ED medication.

As far as premature ejaculation goes, Kegels work largely by strengthening the urinary sphincter and other muscles that control ejaculation. In a 2014 Therapeutic Advances in Urology study, 82 percent of men who had suffered with lifelong premature ejaculation increased their latency time after just 12 weeks of Kegels.

You can also perform Kegels during your sexploits to delay the inevitable, Paduch says. That’s because, when you squeeze your PC muscles, you are telling your brain that you want to pee (don’t worry, you won’t!). And since your penis has only one urethra, it puts a hold on ejaculation, he explains. When you are getting close, perform five quick Kegels and you should be good to go. Steixner notes that pulling this trick also makes you experience a longer buildup and stronger orgasms.

How to Kegel

The next time you’re peeing, try stopping and starting your stream. Or pretend you’re in a crowded elevator and need to hold a fart in, Steixner says. That muscle you feel tightening is the one you need to work.

That simple squeeze will work your pelvic-floor muscles and, if you’re doing it right, you’ll actually see your penis “jump” a bit, Paduch says. You can also make sure you’re doing it right by placing a couple of fingers behind your testicles and feeling for the muscles there to tighten. You can also try putting a finger in your anus and try to clamp down on it, but a lot of guys balk at that, he says.

Either way, perform three sets of 10 reps, three times a day.

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Kegels Exercises For Stronger Erections? Keep Dreaming

Kegel exercises — repeatedly clenching your pelvic floor muscles like you would to stop peeing midstream or suppress a fart in public — are typically thought of as a women’s thing, especially after they’ve birthed a small human and want to tighten up down there. But plenty of guys also want to strengthen this “sling” of muscles and tissues that hold the bladder, rectum, colon, abdomen, and other lower-trunk organs in place. The main reason Kegel exercises for men are so popular? For the rock hard, long-lasting erections, of course. Bad news for Kegel-loving men everywhere: It’s all a big fat myth.

“I’ve read forums and blogs claiming that Kegels can improve erections, but there is no clinical evidence showing that they will,” says Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist at Orlando Health South Lake Hospital. “I suppose that, theoretically, if your pelvic floor muscles are stronger, then when you ejaculate, it would maybe go farther. Or perhaps certain sexual positions might be a bit easier to do for longer if you have a strong pelvic floor. But generally, no, Kegels are not going to give you better or stronger erections.”

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The reason Kegels don’t do much in the sexual department is that most men’s pelvic floors are already sufficiently strong. Even if you were to strengthen them further by doing Kegels, you wouldn’t net noticeable gains in the bedroom. “Besides, if you go to the gym regularly and do squats and leg work, you’re probably already working out your pelvic floor muscles,” he adds.

For men experiencing erectile dysfunction, however, Kegels can be a boon for sex. A study of 55 men, average age 59, found that those who performed kegel exercises in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, losing weight, and cutting back on booze had significantly better erectile function after three months than those who only made lifestyle changes. In fact, because the results were so impressive, they put all the guys on a Kegel routine for the next three months. Then after six months, with their strengthened pelvic floor muscles, 40 percent of the men attained normal erectile function.

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There is another group of men who truly can benefit from Kegels: those whose pelvic floor muscles have been impacted by a prostate procedure, for example, or men living with Parkinson’s disease or another condition that hinders muscle control. The pelvic floor muscles can also become weaker with age, so guys in their 60s, 70s and beyond who can’t control their bladders or bowels might be helped by kegel exercises.

“Also, if you are very overweight, you’ll have a lot of intraabdominal pressure that may be forcing things down, which can cause problems with your bladder and other organs,” Brahmbhatt says. “But if that’s the case, you’d be much better off focusing on losing weight than on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.”

If you fall into one of the camps that could benefit from Kegels, your first course of action should be seeing your doctor. “I tell my patients who are going to have prostate surgery to start working on their pelvic floor muscles now,” Brahmbhatt says. “I can explain the basics to them — imagine you have to pee, hold it, repeat — but I usually refer them to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic muscles. Yes, you can look up how to do Kegels online, but that doesn’t mean you’ll do them right, especially the more advanced moves that require real focus.”

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For the majority of men, however, Kegels would be a futile effort. Take it from Brahmbhatt: “As a urologist, I have never prescribed Kegels to a young, healthy guy.”

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Yes. In addition to other health benefits, regular exercise can help men with their erections.

Exercise is good for the circulatory system. It keeps blood flowing smoothly throughout the body.

This is especially important for erections. When a man is sexually stimulated, his penis fills with blood. This blood gives him the firmness he needs for sexual activity. Once he ejaculates, the blood flows out of the penis and back into the rest of his body.

Without adequate blood flow, erection problems can occur. In some cases, the erection is weak. In others, the man is unable to have an erection at all.

Sometimes, blood flow problems develop because of damage to the endothelium or penile smooth muscle – tissues in the penis that are important for normal erections. This damage may be the result of high blood pressure or smoking. It can also happen if a man has high cholesterol, triglyceride, or blood sugar levels.

Once the endothelium or smooth muscle becomes damaged, the penis may not function normally, even with adequate blood flow. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is also more likely to develop. Plaque builds up on the artery walls, which can slow down or completely block blood flow.

Since the arteries in the penis are very small, often ED is one of the first signs of damage resulting from other medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Exercise does more than improve penile blood flow, however. Staying fit keeps a man’s weight under control, may increase his testosterone levels, and boosts his confidence. It can also reduce depression and anxiety. These factors can affect erections as well as other aspects of sexual health.

How much exercise does a man need? The answer depends on his individual health. Seeing a doctor is recommended before starting any exercise program. With a doctor’s guidance, a man can choose the types of exercise that are best for him.

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