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Can Exercise Improve Erectile Function?

by Men's Healthy List Staff
buff guy lifting weights

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a man has trouble getting and sustaining an erection for sexual intercourse. It is a prevalent sexual health problem that is caused by various physical and psychological factors, and can negatively impact self-esteem and sexual relationships.

Common symptoms of erectile dysfunction

How do you know if you have erectile dysfunction? The following are the common symptoms that you should watch out for:

    • Difficulty getting an erection even after sexual stimulation
    • Difficulty maintain a firm and long-lasting erection to satisfy your partner

If these occur frequently, you have to go see your doctor right away to find a suitable treatment for you.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

Sexual arousal in men is made possible by the brain, nerves, hormones, blood vessels, muscles, emotions, and mental health. It is a pretty complicated process that can go wrong if any of these components is not working right.

Some of the most common physical causes of erectile dysfunction are:


This medical condition is characterized by having excess body fat or weight that can negatively impact overall health. It is caused by overeating, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, genetics, and certain medications.

High cholesterol

man frustrated with erectile problemThis occurs when there is too much cholesterol in the body, creating too many fatty deposits in the blood vessels and resulting in constricted blood flow and others. It is caused by eating foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, such as full-fat dairy products and red meat.


This disease is characterized by abnormally high blood sugar or blood glucose levels, i.e. higher than 126 mmol/L. It is caused by overeating, eating foods with high sugar content, and genetics.

High blood pressure

This is a condition in which the force of the blood that flows through the blood vessels is too high, i.e. over 120/80 mmHg. It is caused by stress or some underlying condition, such as kidney disease.

Multiple sclerosis

This is a disease that strikes the central nervous system. It can potentially disable brain and spinal cord functions, and eventually permanently damage the nerves. Its causes are unknown, but it is more likely to afflict those with a history of it in the family or those that have thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases.

Erectile dysfunction is also sometimes caused by bad habits, such as:


There are elements found in tobacco and cigarettes that can negatively impact sexual health, including your ability to get erections.


Excessive alcohol consumption is not only damaging to the liver, heart, and brain, it is also not good for your erectile function.

Drug abuse

The use of illegal or prohibited drugs is detrimental to your penis and other sexual functions.

Some cases of erectile dysfunction are caused by psychological conditions, such as:


Too much stress not only can make you feel tired and exhausted and lose your focus and other cognitive skills, but it can also make it difficult to get your penis hard during sexual encounters.

Poor mental health

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health problems that can have a negative influence on your erectile function.

Exercises to help treat erectile dysfunction

There are many treatment options available for erectile dysfunction, and one of them is by exercising.

One study found that performing certain exercises on a regular basis can have a positive impact on a man’s erectile function. It gathered 40 male test participants with erectile dysfunction and had them do regular exercise routines for a particular time period. In the end, it observed that 40% of the subjects regained their erectile capabilities, and 33.5% exhibited a profound improvement in their erections.

The following are examples of exercises that you can do to improve your penis health and get better erections:

Brisk walking

Brisk walking can work your heart and promote better blood circulation. If more blood can rush to your penis, getting and maintaining an erection should not be a problem. So, you should start brisk walking even for just 30 minutes a day, every two days. Walk around the block or at the local park. If you prefer to go to the gym, you can brisk-walk on a treadmill. A healthy cardiovascular system can positively influence your sexual health.

fit man doing squats on balance ballBodyweight squats

Bodyweight squats are an excellent workout for the pelvis and buttocks. They do not require any equipment and can be done anytime and anywhere. To do a bodyweight squat, stand straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Slowly bend your knees, lowering your buttocks close to the ground. Make sure that your back is straight and you are leaning forward a little bit. To go back to starting position, use your legs and thighs to stand up, while tightening your butt muscles. Rest and repeat 10 times.


The bridge is a type of pelvic floor exercise that can strengthen your buttocks and pelvis. To do a bridge, you just have to lie on the floor on your back, and then lift your buttocks by bending your knees with both of your feet flat on the floor and your arms on your sides. Hold that position for about 10 seconds, while contracting your butt muscles. Relax your buttocks, and slowly lower them to the floor. Rest and repeat about 10 more times.

Complications of erectile dysfunction

If you have erectile dysfunction, your quality of life will definitely drop.

You will end up with many disappointing and embarrassing moments in the bedroom, and live an unsatisfactory and sad sex life. Your self-esteem will take a big hit, and you will be at high risk of depression and other mental health problems. If you have a partner and you plan to start a family, it will be difficult to make that happen and might probably cause a lot of conflicts, tension, fights, and other relationship issues.

If you want to prevent all of these, you should live a healthy lifestyle, get rid of your bad habits, and work with a medical professional at the earliest opportunity.


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