Are you wondering how to better manage your erectile dysfunction? Have you asked yourself if there’s more you can do than popping a pill? The good news is that the answer is “yes!” And the better news is that there are plenty of things that can help your ED that are quick and easy to do. Since you know ED is the result of reduced blood flow to your penis, you’ll want to take actions that help improve your circulation and heart health. Not only will this help your ED, it’s good for your entire body. Also think about ways to boost your testosterone levels, which contributes to your sex drive and naturally goes down with age.
Monday: Start moving
Yep, you knew this would be on the list. 30 minutes of daily exercise can increase blood flow, reduce stress, and help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise either, one Harvard study found that 30 minutes of walking was associated with a 41% drop in risk for ED (1).
It’s a common suggestion, but remember to make time for daily exercise, especially if you have a sedentary job. Even little things can add up to a healthier and trimmer you. Try parking at the back of the lot and walking a longer distance between your car and the office door, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Tuesday: Drink a second (or third) cup of joe
You already know caffeine can give you a jolt mentally. But it may also help jumpstart your penis. A study found that men who consumed the caffeine equivalent of 2-3 cups of coffee per day had a lowered risk of ED (2). Why? Because caffeine helps boost blood flow throughout your body, including to your penis. But drink it unsweetened, because you don’t need any extra sugar helping pack on additional pounds.
Need more ideas for boosting your circulation? Try eating some of these (3):
- Cayenne Pepper: the compound capsaicin, which gives peppers and hot sauce their kick, also helps relax the muscles in your arteries.
- Berries, Grapes, and Pomegranates: these fruits are all rich in antioxidants and are shown to improve the health of your arteries.
- Beets: naturally rich in nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide, which naturally relaxes arteries.
Wednesday: Eat some spinach
The effects may not be a dramatic as when Popeye would eat a can of spinach in one gulp, but spinach and other leafy greens like kale can help boost your testosterone levels. If you were going to pack a salad for lunch, try swapping out the iceberg or romaine for spinach to give your T-level a kick.
Just like boosting your circulation, diet can help boost testosterone. Besides spinach, you can also try (4):
- Lentils and Beans: legumes like kidney beans, black beans, and lentils are great for your testosterone
- Lean meats: skinless chicken, lean beef, and seafood
Once you’ve made time for exercise and modified your diet to help blood circulation and T-levels, think about the muscles you use during sex. The bulbocavernosus muscle is located in your pelvic floor, and is involved in controlling blood, semen, and urine flow through the penis. A weakened pelvic floor can contribute to problems with ejaculation or urinary incontinence, as well as ED (5).
To strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, you can make Kegel exercises a regular part of your daily routine. To get started, identify your pelvic floor muscles: they’re the muscles you clench to stop urinating in mid-stream or to keep from passing gas. Once you’ve found them, tighten for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds, then repeat. You may find it easier to do them lying down at first.
The Mayo Clinic recommends trying to do at least 3 sets of 10 Kegels each day, and offers the following suggestions to fit them in (6):
- Try to do a set every time you do a routine task, such as brushing your teeth.
- Do them after urination, to get rid of the last few drops.
- Do some just before and during activities that puts pressure on your stomach, like sneezing, coughing, laughing, or lifting.
Friday: Just do it!
What’s the point of treating your ED if you don’t use it? Make time to engage in sex with your partner, even if you’re still having issues with ED. If you haven’t already, have an open conversation with your partner, and then make plans for a relaxed romantic evening. Take plenty of time to set the mood and get your body ready. Try a warm shower with your partner first, and make sure your room isn’t too cold to get your blood flowing and keep it going. And mix it up, even if your penis can’t quite rise to the occasion, there’s still plenty of things you can do together.
So there you have it, five easy ways to help your erectile dysfunction and your whole body this week. Do it for you!