(By David Janes)
Is there a link between Walking and Erectile Dysfunction? Can this simplest form of exercise help with your ED issue?
Researchers and fitness gurus have been touting the health benefits of walking for years. But how can it help with sexual health?
As it turns out, walking and erectile dysfunction are linked in many ways, and research backs up those who say that walking can help you overcome impotence and other potentially debilitating health conditions.
Read on for hard science about how walking can make it easier for you to get hard.
Walking enhances blood flow, and better blood flow leads to better sexual function.
In fact, anything you can do to overcome today’s tendency toward a sedentary lifestyle can help improve blood flow, improve your overall health and put an end to your ED problems.
A nine-year study conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine and published in 2000 in the journal Urology looked at nearly 600 men with no impotence problems.
The researchers found that those who took up or continued exercise had less risk of impotence at middle age than those who led sedentary lives (source).
Interestingly, that research found that even stopping smoking and reducing drinking didn’t impact the risk for ED like taking up exercise did.
Walking only a half-hour per day could be all it takes to improve or maintain sexual health without the need for drugs.
So how does walking help? The blood vessels in the penis can serve as an early warning signal for heart disease, and keeping the blood moving helps promote a healthy heart as well as health in other organs — including the sex organs.
Specifically, improved blood flow leads to greater nitric oxide levels in the blood. NO dilates blood vessels, keeping them healthy and allowing them to do the crucial work of fueling hard erections (2).
Your ED could be caused or worsened by high blood pressure…
When you have elevated blood pressure, the arteries that bring blood to your penis can’t dilate as they should, which restricts blood flow, leading to less than perfect erections.
Additionally, high blood pressure can make it impossible for the smooth muscle of your penis to relax, something it must do for an erection.
Walking and erectile dysfunction are also linked because walking can lower your blood pressure.
In fact, the American Heart Association says that walking can do as much to lower your blood pressure as running.
Running has long been known to lower blood pressure, and a 2015 study looked at more than 33,000 runners and 15,000 walkers over six years.
Vigorous running and moderate walking produced similar reductions in the risk for high blood pressure and other diseases. And the more the participants walked or ran, the more health benefits they got (4).
The American Heart Association study mentioned above also proved that walking lowers blood sugar and the risk for diabetes.
You see, many complications from high blood sugar and uncontrolled diabetes work together and against you to limit your ability to get an erection.
As many of 75 percent of men with diabetes have some level of ED — because there are so many things going wrong in the body.
For one thing, diabetes can damage the lining of blood vessels, blocking the release of nitric oxide. Lack of this crucial compound means constriction and lack of blood flow.
Additionally, high blood sugar causes nerve damage, impacting many of the body’s processes. And many guys with diabetes also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two other conditions that restrict the dilation of blood vessels.
But walking is one way to control blood sugar and complications from diabetes. One study of 250 men with type 2 diabetes found that exercise — and walking in particular — is recommended for men to maintain serum glucose levels (5).
Another study published by the American Diabetes Association found that spikes in blood sugar after a meal are reduced by low-impact physical activity — and that beneficial effect is seen for type 1 diabetics, type 2 diabetics and even those who are perfectly healthy (source).
Walking and erectile dysfunction are linked in another way as well: walking is great exercise, of course, and can help you lose weight.
Excess weight decreases overall health. But that’s not all. It increases your risk of blood vessel damage that can make it difficult to get an erection. And if you’re overweight, you probably aren’t exercising enough, and that puts you at increased risk of ED as well.
Do you see how all these things are actually interrelated?
Even worse, there’s significant evidence that overweight men have reduced testosterone levels because fat produces the female hormone estrogen — and that certainly doesn’t help either.
Still worse, you can’t discount the psychological impact of having a body that just doesn’t look appealing or move very well.
Health.com and Health Magazine actually did an 1,100-word article explaining how ED and excess weight are linked, including interviews with experts. It’s been picked up on the CNN website (7).
The experts in that article focus not just on how sexual health is negatively impacted by excess weight but on how it’s possible to turn things around.
When you lose weight, there’s a dramatic improvement in sexual function — not to mention overall health.
After all, getting hard involves your entire cardiovascular system, and losing weight is one way to make the whole system work better.
Science, anecdotal evidence and common sense come together to prove conclusively that simple improvements in your health can reduce your ED problem.
Increased blood flow, lower blood pressure and controlling your blood sugar are part of the equation. So is maintaining a healthy weight.
And there’s no simpler exercise than walking.
Walking is free, low-impact, easy to do anytime and anywhere and can make a huge difference in your overall health…including your ability to get an erection.
Do it at the mall if it’s too cold or hot outside. Do it in the park if the weather’s nice.
And if you combine walking with an overall healthier way of life and perhaps some ED supplements, you can easily get on the pathway toward sexual health.
Wherever and however you walk, you can improve your erectile dysfunction problem by taking up walking and racking up its many benefits.