Regular exercise has been found to be nearly as effective as medications like Viagra in improving erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, according to a new meta-study. The study, which analyzed 11 randomized, controlled trials, found that exercise led to significant improvements in ED, particularly in men with severe ED. Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study used the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-EF) to measure ED severity and discovered that exercise resulted in an average improvement of 2.8 points on the scale.
The benefits of exercise for ED extend beyond improved sexual performance. Exercise also contributes to cardiovascular health, which is closely linked to ED. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, are also risk factors for ED. Therefore, engaging in regular exercise not only improves erectile function but also supports overall cardiovascular well-being.
The study’s findings underscore the importance of exercise as a first-line intervention for managing ED, particularly for those who are unable or unwilling to take medications like PDE5 inhibitors. Not only does exercise improve erectile function, but it also has other positive effects on sexual performance, such as increased libido, stamina, and self-confidence. In addition to aerobic exercise, exercises targeting the pelvic floor muscles, such as Kegels, can also enhance sexual stamina and orgasmic responses.
Overall, this meta-study provides robust evidence supporting the efficacy of exercise in improving erectile function and highlights the need for healthcare professionals to promote regular exercise as part of a comprehensive approach to managing ED. By encouraging patients to adopt a regular exercise routine, physicians can help improve not only their patients’ sexual health but also their overall cardiovascular health.