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Exercise for Better Erections

Exercise for Better ErectionsWe hear it all the time – it’s important to exercise. A sedentary lifestyle isn’t healthy. We need to keep moving. But after a long day, it can be difficult to get off the couch.

What if we told you exercise could improve your erections?


Want better erections? Exercise! Details here... (Click to tweet)


It’s true. In the past, we’ve discussed why exercise is good for men’s sexual health in general.  How does it help erections in particular?


Good blood flow is important.

Exercise keeps your blood moving freely and that’s very important for a man’s erections. When he’s turned on sexually, smooth muscle tissue in his penis relaxes, allowing more blood to flow in. Veins constrict so that the blood stays put, giving him the firmness he needs for sex. Once he ejaculates, the blood is released.

Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) often have trouble with blood flow because of damage to the endothelium or smooth muscle tissue, which support the blood vessels. When this happens, it becomes more difficult for blood to flow into the penis properly. The result is a weak erection or no erection at all.

What causes damage to the endothelium? High blood pressure, smoking, and high levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar are all factors.

Once the damage is done, it leaves blood vessels more susceptible to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Plaques that build up along artery walls can block the blood flowing into the penis.

Exercise can help maintain endothelial health. It may also help prevent – or control – other medical conditions associated with ED, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

In addition, it can help men with some of the psychological aspects of ED. For example, exercise may alleviate depression and anxiety and make a man feel more sure of himself. He may lose weight, improving his body image. With a more positive outlook, he may feel more confident about his sexual performance.


Recent research

A recent study published in the American Journal of Cardiology provides a good example of just how much exercise can help men with ED. A team of Brazilian researchers worked with 86 men who had had recent heart attacks. Eighty-four percent of them reported having ED before their hospitalization.

Forty-one of the men were assigned to a special home-based outdoor walking program. The rest received their usual care, but did not participate in the walking protocol.

After 30 days, the men took a 6-minute walk test and completed a survey about their sexual function, which was compared to results from the beginning of the study. The men who did not walk had a 9% increase in ED. But the men who walked regularly saw a 71% decrease in ED.

So just a simple walking program may do the trick.


What kind of exercise is best?

The answer is up to you. We suggest that you see your doctor before starting any exercise program. He or she can best guide you on your specific health situation.

Any type of exercise can have benefits, though. If you choose something you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Here are some ideas to get your blood pumping:

·         You might start at local gym to see what it has to offer. A personal trainer can help develop a regimen tailored for you. You can also try a variety of activities and see which ones you like best.

  • Want to hang out with the guys more often? Why not start a community basketball team?
  • Get to know your co-workers by joining the company softball team.
  • Swim some laps at the community pool after work.
  • Explore the countryside by hiking, cycling, running, or jogging. You might also try rowing on a local lake or river.

Including your partner in your exercise routine can be a great idea, too. Getting fit together can have health benefits for both of you. And who knows what might happen next? That moonlight walk holding hands by the beach or the dance lessons that involve lots of touch may lead to great sex when you get home!

Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Exercise for Better Erections


The American Journal of Cardiology

Begot, Isis, MsC, et al.

“A Home-Based Walking Program Improves Erectile Dysfunction in Men With an Acute Myocardial Infarction”

(Abstract. Published online: December 11, 2014)

American Stroke Association

“Atherosclerosis and Stroke”

(Last update: April 2014)

Vann, Madeline, MPH

“Exercise and Erectile Dysfunction”

(Last updated: May 10, 2011)

HealthDay via Renal and Urology News

“Walking Improves Erectile Function After Myocardial Infarction”

(March 5, 2015)

International Society for Sexual Medicine

“Can exercise help with erectile dysfunction (ED)?”

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Simon, Ross M., MD, et al.

“The Association of Exercise with Both Erectile and Sexual Function in Black and White Men”

(Full-text. First published online: March 20, 2015)

Sexual Medicine Society of North America

“Exercise and Men’s Sexual Health”

(August 20, 2014)

Weill Cornell Medical College - Department of Urology

“How Erections Work”