Researchers have found that regular, moderate exercise may prevent impotence. Exercise stimulates blood flow, and what's good for your heart may also be good for overcoming impotence.
One of the primary physiological requirements for an erection is healthy blood flow to the penis; exercise increases the amount and quality of blood flow throughout the body, so it goes without saying that a good heart workout will stimulate blood flow to the genital region.
In fact, impotence can be an early warning sign of coronary disease, since the penis is more sensitive to slow-downs in blood flow than the heart is, researchers have found.
Impotence (or erectile dysfunction) is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, and includes the inability to get an erection as a result of sexual stimulation or to lose your erection prior to ejaculation.
Impotence does not generally include other symptoms such as lack of libido, inability to ejaculate or the inability to achieve orgasm.
A long-term research project by the Boston University School of Medicine studied 600 men between the ages of 40 and 70 who began the study with no indications of impotence problems. More than eight years later, 17% of the men had developed impotence.
Exercise proved to be one of the few areas where taking positive action reduced the participant's chances of becoming impotent.
Those participants who smoked, drank heavily or were obese when the study commenced were more likely to report erection problems at its end. Yet men who quit smoking, lost weight and stopped drinking during the course of the study didn't seem to improve their likelihood of having normal erections.
Men who began exercising regularly during the study, or who did so throughout, cut their risk of becoming impotent. Those who burned at least 200 calories a day decreased their risk of impotence by up to 50% compared to men who didn't exercise at all. The effect was greatest for...