Erectile dysfunction

Updated 27 March 2015

Men who exercise more have better sexual function

Men who exercise more have better erectile and sexual function, a new study suggests.

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Up and at 'em, guys. Exercise might boost your sex life, a new study suggests.

Nearly 300 men provided information about their physical activity levels and their ability to have erections and orgasms, the quality and frequency of erections, and their overall sexual function.

Men who exercised the most - as measured by what's known as metabolic equivalents (METS) - had higher sexual function scores, regardless of race, according to the findings published in the March issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Read: When erections go wrong

Specifically, better sex was reported by those who engaged in the equivalent of two hours of strenuous exercise, 3.5 hours of moderate exercise, or six hours of light exercise a week, the researchers said.

Men who exercised less had lower sexual function scores. Other factors associated with lower sexual function included diabetes, older age, past or current smoking, and heart disease, the investigators found.

"When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits-all approach," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Freedland, director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle in Los Angeles.

"However, we are confident that even some degree of exercise, even if less intense, is better than no exercise at all," Freedland said in a journal news release.

While previous studies have identified a link between exercise and erectile function, that research tended to focus on white men, the study authors said.

"This study is the first to link the benefits of exercise in relation to improved erectile and sexual function in a racially diverse group of patients," said study senior author Adriana Vidal, an investigator in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

Read more:

Why erectile dysfunction should be treated

Could your soap really cause erectile dysfunction?

Too much booze may harm your sperm

Image: Handsome muscular man doing sit-ups on a wooden floor from Shutterstock

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Erectile Dysfunction Expert

Dr Kenny du Toit is a urologist practicing in Rondebosch, Cape Town. He is also consultant at Tygerberg hospital, where he is a senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University. He is a member of the South African Urological Association, Colleges of Medicine South Africa and Société Internationale d’Urologie. Board registered with both the HPCSA (Health professions council of South Africa) and GMC (General medical council UK). He has a keen interest in oncology, kidney stones and erectile dysfunction.http://www.dutoiturology.co.za

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