A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in October 2023 shows aerobic activity can be just as effective as medication for erectile dysfunction. The systematic review evaluated the effects of aerobic activity on erectile function and found men who participated in aerobic activity, such as cycling, running or walking, had better erectile function.
The general health benefits of cardiovascular exercise have long been established, though the effects on erectile function had previously not been researched. The authors determined 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 times per week showed significant improvement in erectile function via the International Index of Erectile Function.
ED can be a result of lack of blood flow to the tissues, causing weakness of erection or inability to achieve or maintain erections. Lack of blood flow can be due to a variety of reasons including disease, neurologic dysfunction, tension in the pelvic floor musculature, or trauma to the pelvis and surrounding areas. Aerobic exercise can improve the ability of the penile arteries to receive blood flow and improve erectile function. Further, pelvic floor physical therapy can address muscular tension or trauma further contributing to limited blood flow to the area.