The Link Between Exercise & Impotence
by Jay Chatterjee &
Since its discovery, Viagra has been the
stock remedy for all manner of libido related ills, from total
loss of ability to intermittent and temporary problems with
'getting a raise'!
In such a scenario, the cause of the problem
may arise (!!) from an area of the body quite far removed ---
from the heart, or the brain. And those on medication would
do well to remember that mixing nitrates, the popular medication
for many heart problems, with viagra can cause extreme drop
in blood pressure leading to cardio- circulatory shock. In fact,
the cocktail can prove lethal.
The good news is that sexual dysfunction
may not be as untreatable as doctors previously thought. Recently,
a group of Italian researchers found that there is one safe
treatment for the problem: regular exercise. The high level
of stimulation suggested by the phrase 'blood coursing through
the veins', does have physical manifestations to support it.
Men as well as women require good blood flow to the genitals
for arousal and erections. And can there be anything better
or more effective than exercise to keep the blood circulating?
In an another large, long-term study, researchers
found that men who burned at least 200 calories a day through
exercise were less likely to become impotent, than men who were
Researchers monitored the lifestyle of nearly
600 men, who initially had no problems with impotence, over
a period of 9 years. Examining a variety of lifestyle factors
believed to contribute to impotence, eg smoking, heavy drinking,
inactivity and obesity they found that men who had been active
to begin with, as well as those who took up exercise during
the study period, were at lower risk of experiencing impotence.
Occasional impotence is normal. At some point
in his life, every man will experience difficulty, sometimes
temporary, in achieving and maintaining an erection. But persistent,
long-term difficulty may be indicative of a physical cause,
and should prompt you to seek medical advice.
In fact, impotence can be an early warning
sign of coronary artery disease, since the penis is more sensitive
to slow-downs in blood flow than is the heart. (Doppler ultrasound
scanning is an imaging technique which can now be used to measure
blood flow to the penis).
But, men take heart! Exercise may protect
you from impotence the same way it can prevent heart attacks;
by keeping your blood vessels clear.
Just 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic
activity, such as walking or stair climbing, accumulated in
short bursts, can do the trick. The American Heart Association
also recommends weight training or trying proven stress-busters
such as yoga and tai chi, which are increasingly used in cardiac
rehabilitation. A study on the effects of bicycling, found that
40 minutes of bicycling 3 times a week increased sexual functioning
by 76%. Keeping your arteries clear may well be the way to rock
Another aspect of a good sex regimen (& to
ward off impotence) is proper diet. This would involve eating
lots of fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes. Stick to
a low calorie diet, getting not more than 20% of your total
calories from fat. To quote Julie Walsh, MRSD, spokeswoman for
the American Dietetic Association, " A diet that's healthy for
you overall will be healthy for your sex life - period". The
effectiveness of so called aphrodisiac foods is yet to be confirmed.
But if, like us, you are fond of oysters, seafood and asparagus,
go ahead, they are low in calories and can put you in the right
frame of mind.
Impotence can also occur as a side effect
of drugs, including anti-depressants, so avoid taking medications
without consulting a doctor.
Men who do all of the above things and still
have problems with impotence, should consult a competent naturally-oriented
physician, to investigate other possible causes. Strangely,
only 1 out of 10 people affected actually do so. Impotence,
is after all, more of a symptom that needs to be treated than
a disease in itself! Impotence affects about a quarter of men
by the age of 65, and there is no cure. So the most important
thing we can do is to PREVENT it!
Unfortunately, not only does impotence have
physical manifestations, it can have a depressing effect on
male psyche, striking as it does at the intrinsic 'manhood'
of the male. This tendency towards depression, too, can be countered
by the proven mood enhancing effects of exercise. After a study
of 156 severely depressed men and women over 50, Duke University
researchers suggested that 16 weeks of aerobic exercise may
be as effective in alleviating depression as a 16-week regimen
of antidepressant drugs.
Exercise provides a balancing effect also
on another area which may negatively impact on sexual performance
- the mind. In many cases, impotence is the result of psychological
causes rather than physical ones. In such cases, the relaxing
and tension-freeing properties of exercise will contribute to
the more conducive state of mind that is essential for good
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Exercise, follow a good diet, keep yourself
tension free. These simple steps will not only ward off possible
impotence, but also improve your health in every way. Remember,
too, if you are already experiencing some symptoms, that in
most cases the causes can be treated.
And if nothing works, all manner of physical
aids are now available to help achieve and maintain an erection.
All said and done, the outlook for impotence is good.
Chatterjee, a Chartered Accountant and ex-Corporate Banker,
lives in Canada.
Roshmi Raychaudhuri is a business-woman residing in India. They
have shared a longstanding and keen interest in the effects
of natural therapies. On a trip to the Himalayan foothills,
they came across an ancient anti-aging and body rejuvenation
system based on stimulation of the hormonal glands. They have
put this information on their website for the world to share.
If this subject interests you please visit
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