Preventing and reversing erectile dysfunction isn't always possible, but for some men suffering from ED – and men concerned for the future – there are things you can do to proactively reduce your risk of developing ED.
It may come as no surprise, but many of the best ways to reduce your risk of ED are many of the same things you should be doing to maintain your wellness anyway. And none of them are all that challenging. Here's how to prevent erectile dysfunction naturally.
Quick Facts: How Do You Prevent ED?
Preventing ED has a lot to do with basic wellness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Eliminate or reduce vices like smoking and drinking; get regular exercise; eat right and watch your weight; keep relationships healthy; and do regular physician visits.
Put down the vices.
Frankly, this should go without saying considering the links to so many other medical conditions, but avoiding smoking and the overconsumption of alcohol are two of the simplest ways you can combat ED before it starts.
Smoking and alcoholism have both been linked to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction in a number of research studies. They're also linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, depression, and...the list goes on.
Quitting smoking and cutting back on alcohol are two of the surest ways you can reduce your risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction. In fact, one news article from the '90s playfully quipped "The Marlboro man needs Viagra." Alcoholism and smoking cause erectile dysfunction.
Get regular exercise.
Regular exercise is important to your general wellbeing, but newer research suggests exercise is also directly linked to a strong libido and strong erectile function. Exercise may be able to not only help prevent erectile dysfunction, but even help to improve erectile function in men who don't suffer from ED.
Specifically aerobic exercise with moderate-to-vigorous intensity, like jogging, running, and biking when your heart rate is elevated for a period of time, is where the most benefit is seen. And an exercise plan doesn't have to be anything extraordinary. The Mayo Clinic suggests getting at least
- 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, like walking 20 minutes daily
- 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, like jogging for 25 minutes 3 times a week
- or a combination of the two
Importantly, guys concerned about ED or their own waning sexual function should speak with a doctor before beginning a rigorous new exercise regimen. Since many patients with erectile dysfunction also have underlying cardiovascular medical issues, it's important than men evaluate their cardiovascular risk before beginning aggressive physical exercise.
Interestingly, exercise shows a synergistic effect with the drugs commonly used in the treatment of ED, called PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra and Cialis.
Exercise will also help you combat many other medical conditions that can lead to or increase the risk of ED, like obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, and high blood pressure.
Eat right and watch your weight.
Wellness 101 again. Eating right and maintaining a health weight are good ways to reduce your future risk of ED. As we age and our metabolisms slow down, it can be easy to maintain your youthful appetite. But those pounds can quickly start to add up, and a high Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity are sure risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
Cutting back on sugar and and low-nutrient carbohydrates can lower your risk of developing diabetes, which now affects over 10% of the U.S. population and is one of the quickest precursors to ED.
Replacing empty starches like white bread and sugary snack foods with whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, fewer processed foods, and quality proteins can not only help you keep your weight under control but also help you feel full for longer.
Keep your sex life and relationships healthy from the start.
Some research has shown that guys who have more sexual thoughts and increased desire earlier in life are less likely to have ED issues later in life. Part of this may have to do with healthy relationships and a healthy sex life. Being able to talk to your partner about your mental AND physical state is an important part of ED treatment, and it can also help to cut issues off early on before they turn into something more serious.
See your doctor for regular checkups.
This is one that guys are just plain bad at. We don't go to the doctor like we should. That's for checkups AND for actual medical conditions.
Categorically, women are more likely to see a doctor than men, for checkups and diagnoses. Researchers think that may be because they're conditioned from an earlier age to see a doctor.
Still, only HALF of guys in a Cleveland Clinic survey said they get regular checkups, and 72% of them said they would rather do chores at home than go to the doctor. On top of that, 20% of guys say they haven't been completely honest with their physician about what's going on: they were either embarrassed or they didn’t want to hear that they needed to change their diet or lifestyle. This is very common in the diagnosis of ED and is one reason ED goes undiagnosed among men.
Seeing a physician for regular checkups can help to catch all of those other issues that can lead to ED: diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, etc.
What's more, 61% of guys said they would be more likely to go to their annual checkup if it was more convenient for them. That's a big deal, and it's why we started Rex MD – to help guys get the treatment they need easily, affordably, and discreetly.
You can get a free virtual visit with a licensed physician today when you become a Rex MD Member, and get prescription ED meds at low prices shipped right to your door. It's hassle-free and discreet, helping guys avoid the embarrassment that keeps so many men out of the doctor's office.