Running—most people either love the sport dearly or hate it to their core. But whether you’re into this activity or not, no one can deny the positive effects of living a runner’s lifestyle.
From strengthening your leg and abdominal muscles to helping you lose weight, running is known to be one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of staying fit.
We can go on and on about the physical benefits running can give people, but there’s one lesser-known advantage of running—and all aerobic activities to an extent—that not many are familiar with: its impact on your sex life.
A randomized controlled trial found that participants who underwent a progressive walking system had a 9% increase in erectile function, whereas those who didn’t undergo the program didn’t experience any positive results.
Through this study alone, it’s clear to see that running can be a great way to help people with erectile dysfunction (ED). But you may be wondering: what exactly are the main mechanisms at play that make this activity so beneficial? What’s the ideal frequency and intensity of running to maximize the positive effect on your sexual performance?
Let’s learn more about running and erectile dysfunction in this article.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Before assuming you have ED, understand that it’s completely normal to experience one-off cases of erectile difficulties. However, when these erectile difficulties are persistent and are adversely affecting your sexual life, worrying about a possible case of erectile dysfunction is a reasonable presumption.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that’s marked by immense difficulty in having an erection suitable for sexual intercourse, whether it’s by getting it up or by maintaining it for a long time. This condition is the most common type of sexual dysfunction in the world, with global estimates ranging from 3.75 to 5%.
How Does a Man Achieve an Erection?
The process of achieving an erection involves the cooperation of various parts of the body. To understand how running can help ED, let’s take a quick refresher and learn how an erection is formed.
Firstly, a man’s brain must be sexually stimulated through visual, mental, or physical stimulation. This triggers the release of nitric oxide (NO), a neurotransmitter whose main purpose is to facilitate the erection process by enabling vasodilation (or blood vessel widening) to occur in the erectile tissues.
Once these muscles are relaxed and the blood vessels are widened, the brain signals blood to flow to the penile region—and it flows—making the newly-dilated spongy tissues expand and become hard. The increased pressure in this area causes the veins to contract, which traps the blood inside the penis and creates an erection.
The entire erection process is facilitated by the brain, nerve vessels, heart, and the penis itself. If any of these components are suffering from an impairment, whether through underlying chronic conditions or mental risk factors, the erection process may be hindered or even impossible to achieve.
How Does Running Help with ED?
Running can improve erectile dysfunction symptoms in a number of ways, both physically and mentally. Let’s look at the three main benefits of this aerobic exercise relative to its sexual benefits.
1. Running Improves Blood Flow
To start, running falls under the classification of aerobic exercises, which comprises physical, blood-pumping activities that are good for your heart and lungs.
Erectile dysfunction is often caused by restricted blood flow due to hardened and blocked arteries surrounding the erectile region.
By performing cardiovascular activities like running, you can keep your heart strong and healthy enough to pump enough blood to the penis to create and sustain an erection.
Besides running, jogging, cycling, swimming, and jumping rope are prime examples of aerobic exercises that provide beneficial effects on one’s sexual and cardiovascular health.
2. Running Reduces Stress Levels
If you feel good after a run, there’s a scientific explanation as to why this is the case.
Running stimulates the production of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins which are potent mood regulators. These are the chemicals that make you feel a runner’s high after a long and strenuous run.
This doesn’t only give your mental health a boost on the spot, but it’s great for your sexual health too. When you’re riddled with stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol, your mind will have a tough time telling your body to get erect.
Therefore, running can reduce the production of these stress hormones and replace them with feel-good chemicals, allowing you to achieve an erection more easily.
3. Running Helps to Fight Progressive Chronic Diseases
Erectile dysfunction is very frequently associated with other health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis.
The good news is that running consistently can help fight against these illnesses.
Diabetics, for instance, can reduce hemoglobin A1C in the body by following a running routine a few times a week.
People suffering from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis can also significantly improve their symptoms by going out for a run. This is because running can provide oxygen throughout the body while simultaneously making the heart and lungs stronger.
Of course, people with obesity can benefit from running too. The act of running itself burns calories. That said, it’s important to talk with a medical professional before going out for a run for a more complete evaluation of your fitness levels.
How Often Should Men Exercise to Help Treat ED?
Men should commit to aerobic exercise four days a week, dedicating 40 minutes to each session to reap its full benefits to best complement a sound medical treatment plan.
Exercising consistently for 6 months can reduce symptomatic erectile difficulties caused by obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and digestive and kidney diseases.
Alternative Ways to Restore Erectile Function
While physical activity is highly recommended for men to improve their sexual function, there are other treatments that you can do alongside regular exercise.
These include the following:
- RestoreWave therapy
- Sex therapy
- Erectile dysfunction treatment
- Pelvic floor muscle training
- Proper diet of fruits and protein-rich foods
By talking with a doctor, men can find out which treatment is most suitable for them, depending on the underlying cause of their erectile dysfunction.
Ft. Lauderdale’s Leading Men’s Clinic Can Help Combat Sexual Health Issues Including ED
Running is a simple yet effective way to stay physically active and complement a medical plan to treat erectile dysfunction, as it boosts blood circulation, reduces stress levels, and fights against chronic illnesses.
Men should aim to commit to physical activity training 4 days a week for 40 minutes each session to reduce symptomatic erectile difficulties. However, alternative treatments are also available and can be used, based on a doctor’s supervision.
Need further assistance? Contact Preferred Men’s Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are one of Florida’s leading men’s clinics providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Low Testosterone therapy, RestoreWave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more.