Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to maintain an erection, is a problem that occurs in many men for various reasons. It’s often caused by physical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and low testosterone. Other causes may include psychological issues, blood flow problems, hormonal fluctuations, and nerve damage. Fortunately, there are some exercises that can help control erectile dysfunction symptoms.
What Type of Exercise Can Help Manage ED?
Kegel exercises or exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor can really help people with ED. The pelvic floor muscles are crucial to sustaining blood flow to the penis and maintaining erections. These muscles do this by putting pressure on the penile veins and preventing blood from leaving the area, making an erection possible.
Some Kegel Exercises and the Correct Way to Do Them
1. Activating Pelvic Floor Muscles
This exercise is simple but quite beneficial. It teaches a person to activate their pelvic floor muscles.
● Lie down with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms by your sides.
● Exhale and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three and then inhale and release after a count of three.
● Do not accidentally contract other muscles, particularly those of the stomach, buttocks, or legs.
2. Sitting and Standing Pelvic Floor Activation
● Sit with your arms at the sides and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
● Using the same technique as above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release for a count of three.
● Similarly, stand straight with your arms by the sides and your feet hip-width apart.
● Using the technique above, activate the pelvic floor muscles for a count of three, and release after a count of three.
● Ensure that the stomach, buttocks, and leg muscles are not contracting.
Pilates Exercises to TryThese Pilates exercises activate the right group of muscles and challenge a person to maintain
pelvic floor strength while moving.
1. Knee Fallouts
This is a beginners’ exercise that involves small movements.
● Lie down with the knees bent, the feet flat on the floor, and the arms by the sides.
● Keep the spine in a neutral position, leaving a small space between the middle of the back and the floor.
● Exhale, squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, and slowly lower one knee to the floor. Only lower it as far as possible while maintaining activation of the pelvic floor muscles. Keep the pelvis stable.
● Inhale, release the muscles, and bend the knee again.
● Repeat on the other side.
● You can start by doing this exercise four or five times on each side and build up to 10.
2. Supine Foot Raises
This exercise builds on knee fallouts and involves small movements.
● Lie down with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms by the sides.
● Exhale, engage the pelvic floor muscles, and slowly raise one foot off the floor. Keep the pelvis and the spine still.
● Inhale and lower the foot back to the ground.
● Repeat again with the other feet and alternate between them for a couple of rounds.
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