Improve your Heart Health & Erectile Health for American Heart Month
American Heart Month is the perfect time for people across the United States to begin making improvements to their heart health. Erectile health is directly linked to heart health. Those hoping to improve their erectile health may want to start by making heart-healthy decisions.
Read on for the best ways to make changes to both heart and erectile health.
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease and related conditions, such as high blood pressure. It is recommended for healthy adults age 18 to 65 to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week. Adding moderate-to-high intensity muscle-strengthening activities (e.g. weight training) to existing exercise routines can also improve heart health.
Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises include:
- Water aerobics
- Brisk walking
Examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises include:
- Dance classes
- Cycling 10mph and faster
- Jumping rope
Research demonstrates that exercise can improve erectile health. Any exercise aimed at strengthening the pelvic floor (e.g. Kegels) can improve sexual function and experience. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important to improving erectile health.
Anyone with a diagnosed or suspected health condition should consult a medical provider prior to beginning a new exercise regimen.
You are What You Eat
A balanced diet is a key component of having a healthy heart. Simple dietary changes contribute to managing health conditions, preventing heart disease, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Those wishing to improve their diet can:
- Limit processed foods, sodium, and sugar. Processed foods, especially those high in sodium and sugar, are bad for the heart. Reducing the consumption of processed foods and sweetened beverages can help to control high blood pressure.
- Eat more fish. The omega-3s found in salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout are great for heart health.
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content.
- Eat more plant-based foods. Eating fresh vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables is good for the heart. Regularly consuming legumes, oats, nuts, and seeds can also improve heart health.
- Drink less alcohol. Limiting drinking to a moderate level is recommended for maintaining heart health. Moderate drinking is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Manage Your Health Conditions
Anyone with a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, should carefully manage his or her condition(s) under the care of a medical provider. Committing to an individualized treatment plan makes patients more likely to successfully manage their conditions. Treatment plans may involve adopting a new diet or exercise regimen, taking medications, quitting smoking, and continually monitoring health (e.g. routinely taking blood pressure).
Is Medication Right for You?
Diet and exercise can do wonders for erectile health, but medication is also often needed for best outcomes. No matter the root cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), it is important for patients to speak to a doctor about their concerns. The most common medication for ED is prescription pills, such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis.