It's a no brainer that healthy blood flow is essential for a rock-hard erection, and let's face it we all want Mr Happy to be up for the challenge when he's required to perform.
Low testosterone, a low sex drive, the inability to maintain an erection or being too quick off the mark can ALL be influenced by poor lifestyle choices.
But there are some simple changes you can make to your routine and diet to ensure your penis is in peak condition. Let's make this year the "Year of the Healthy Penis" with these 7 simple health tips you can incorporate into your daily life!
Try to do at least 30mins of cardio exercise every day. A healthy cardiovascular system is important not only to get blood flowing to your penis as you become aroused, but also to keep it erect. Cardio exercise improves your heart health which will increase blood circulation to your penis.
Scientific evidence links a sedentary lifestyle to erectile dysfunction. So find an exercise routine that you enjoy which gets your heart racing and reap the benefits.
Get a good night's sleep
Your penis needs as much quality sleep as it can get!
Erections are necessary to keep your penis healthy and those night-time erections during REM phase are, to put it simply, exercising your penis. Every night the average man will experience 2-6 erections which theoretically work to recharge your penis and keep it oxygenated with blood. Lack of sleep interrupts this pattern and the absence of nocturnal erections can lead to the wasting away of penile tissues. Plus, brain hormones that affect your erection - like dopamine and serotonin - are also regulated by sleep.
Aim for a minimum of 6 hours sleep every night. Even a few late nights can affect you. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that sleeping less than 5 hours a night lowered the testosterone levels of young, healthy guys by 10% after only a few days.
Fuel your body
Healthy eating should be the top of your list if you want to be an amazing lover. Dieticians will tell you that there are definitely some foods you can add to your diet that help boost your desire, stamina and performance. We mentioned a few in our recent article 10 Best Foods to Boost Your Sex Life and here are a few specifically related to penile health.
- Pomegranate might just be the best erection boosting food ever! It's been found to dramatically increase the production of nitric oxide and boost testosterone levels.
- Spinach contains arginine, an amino acid which helps initiate and maintain erections and may also help speed your recovery time between bouts.
- All nuts are a good addition to your diet but raw walnuts are the king of erectile boosting foods as they have incredibly high levels of arginine.
- Raw cacao is known to increase levels of nitric oxide as well as lowering blood pressure which means your arteries are expanded for blood to flow more freely when it's needed.
Research has found that your daily coffee indulgence can improve your sex life.
A team from the University of Texas Health Science Centre linked caffeine intake to a positive boost in men’s sex lives. Guys who drank between 85 and 170mg of caffeine (that’s about two cups of coffee) were 42% less likely to deal with erectile dysfunction compared to men who had no caffeine at all. And if you’re a guy who likes three cups of coffee a day, go for gold - this group of caffeine fiends were 39% cent less likely to report erectile dysfunction.
Drink in moderation
Yes wine was on the list of our 10 Best Foods to Boost Your Sex Life but moderation is the key. A glass of red wine may fuel your libido but a full bottle will totally screw with your penis-brain and ruin any chance of a good night out turning into a great night between the sheets.
Clinical studies (and we've no doubt personal experience will back this up for many of us) show that a few too many drinks can dull your libido, make an erection difficult to achieve, make an erection impossible to maintain and pretty much guarantees a less than memorable performance.
There is also a direct link to long term alcohol abuse and erectile dysfunction and some studies have linked it to shrinkage of the testicles and penis. Yikes!
Stress affects your health and that also means your sexual health. Guys in demanding or high-stress jobs working long hours put their sexual health down the list of life's priorities and their anxiety levels are usually quite high even away from work. Ditto if you're having relationship issues. Plus, if you're a workaholic you probably don't schedule time for exercise and your sleep patterns can be less than ideal.
Stress is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction. Basically stress floods your body with adrenaline, which makes blood vessels constrict and sends blood to where your body thinks it needs it most - your muscles - and that can be bad news for an erection.
Knowing how to switch off from life's stresses can help you turn your libido on. Try to reduce your stress levels by switching off your phone, not checking your work emails once you get home, scheduling time to de-stress with exercise, yoga or meditation or taking up a hobby. Even retreating to your man cave with your phone switched off gives you downtime you might not otherwise have. The key is identifying that a stressful life is affecting your sexual health and doing something about it.
Nicotine restricts blood flow to your penis and smokers are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction! Do you need any more reasons that that?
Ok, here goes! There is some evidence that smoking can affect the size of your erections. "In addition to damaging blood vessels, smoking may cause damage to penile tissue itself, making it less elastic and preventing it from stretching," says Irwin Goldstein, MD, a urologist at the Boston University Medical Center.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky found that when men were asked to rate their sex lives on a scale of 1 to 10, smokers averaged a score of 5 vs non-smokers who averaged 9.
And according to a 2011 study in the British Journal of Urology International, men who gave up cigarettes for 8 weeks had thicker, more rigid erections and reached maximum arousal 5 times faster than the men who relapsed.
A lot of guys know that their lifestyle is affecting their health but bad choices and not dealing with the stresses of life also affect your penis and your ability to perform.
So do yourself, and your partner, a favour and make some changes to your lifestyle to ensure your penis is in peak performance condition now and for many more years to cum.