With phrases like 'YOLO (You only live once)' still in full circulation, it's tempting to indulge yourself every chance you get. This can look like guzzling down beer, chain smoking, or staying up all night to party or game, even if it regularly cuts into your sleep.
That ice cold beer may be exactly what you needed, a cigarette may take off the edge, and it really is fun to stay up at night, but several years down the line, you'll realize that time isn't something that you can get back. You can change your habits but you can't undo the effects overnight. That's why we're telling you now to take a step back and reevaluate, because your health is at risk.
Today, we'd like focus particularly on how your habits may affect the male erection. Unless you're asexual, this is something you probably value. A lot.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to keep an erection while engaging in sexual acts, affects your self-confidence and relationships. About 18 million men in the U.S currently live with impotence.
Do keep in mind that an occasional problem isn't something to worry about, but if you'd like to keep it from repeatedly happening, take these necessary precautions.
Keep a Tab on Your Waist Size
It really depends on your stature, but according to a study by Cornell University, men with a waist size of 40 inches or more were more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Smoking: Too Cool For School… and Erections
Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction for men under 40? Healthy reactions require a healthy blood supply and flow. Smoking leads to plaque build-up in the arteries which obstructs regular flow.
According to one study, men who smoked 20 cigarettes or more each day faced a 60% higher risk of ED than those who didn’t smoke.
When You Booze, You Lose
There’s a misconception that alcohol makes people feel more sexual. Sure, it can sometimes bring you liquid courage but the fact is that alcohol is a depressant. Drink too much and it can decrease your sexual desires. If you can give up the drink, that’s great, but you don’t necessarily have to. Moderation is key. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines moderation as two drinks a day for men.
Oral Health and Your Immune System
The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study which revealed that men with ED are three times more likely to suffer from periodontal, or gum, disease when compared to men without ED. This is because inflammation, which occurs in reaction to injury or infection, can spread from the gums to the rest of the body. To prevent bacteria, brush twice a day and set up regular visits with your dentist.
Instagram / Brushingteeth
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are common causes of ED. Stress can be caused by a number of things, including work deadlines, money problems, marital issues, or the death of a loved one, for example. Although you cannot reverse some circumstances, you can do some things to alleviate the stress.
One thing you can do is cut out negative relationships and maintain the healthy ones. Another thing to is to express what you’re feeling, not aggressively but assertively. Remember that whatever you’re going through is going to take some time and you may have to try several different things before you start to feel better. Other great ones you should try are rest and exercise, listed up next.
Marcelo Del Pozo / Reuters
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep deprivation can also led to ED. If you have an irregular sleeping pattern, work on time management. You don’t have to cut out Netflix marathons, gaming, or occasional partying, but it would help to organize and moderate them. Use a Google calendar or a standard planner. Plan your days ahead of time and prioritize getting enough rest.
Eat Well & Stay Active
There are a number of exercises out there for men to relieve erectile dysfunction but we’d like to get you moving ahead of time. If you’re overweight or live with diabetes or both, the nerves that supply the penis can be affected.
Maintain a healthy weight through exercise and eating right. Avoid eating fried and processed foods whenever possible and make sure to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals.
Hate Reading? Follow This One Simple Rule
A general rule you should follow is ‘Anything that is bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his penis,’ says Andrew McCullough, MD, of New York University Langone Medical Center.