Lifestyle habits to improve your sex life
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
We all want to be better in bed. Obviously, you want to keep your partner satisfied but a bit more stamina is always good for the ego too.
So, what can you do? Well, you can start with your lifestyle and make some much-needed changes. But can a few tweaks to how you live your life really take you from American Pie to American Gigolo? You never know! Here we’ll explain how to get a better erection and improve sexual performance by making positive lifestyle changes.
What is a healthy sex life?
There’s no simple answer to this. Healthy sex life is one that’s satisfying, exciting, and that makes both you and your partner(s) happy. Some people may want sex every day, others less often. People will enjoy different aspects of sex. Just make sure you practice safe sex and focus on having fun.
Lifestyle changes to improve your sexual performance
What you do in your everyday life affects your body and your health, and your health and your sex life are intimately related. If you start to struggle to get or keep an erection, you might have erectile dysfunction (ED). And ED is often a sign there’s a problem with your health.
The opposite is true too. The healthier you are, the more you’ll reap the benefits in the bedroom. If you incorporate the below advice into your daily life, you may banish erection problems, improve your stamina, and boost your sex drive:
Increase your aerobic exercise: You get an erection when blood fills your penis, so anything that improves your blood flow and keeps your circulatory system healthy will help keep your erections firm and plentiful. Aerobic exercise, from running to cycling to boxing, is perfect for this. Research shows that 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise four times a week can reduce erectile dysfunction.
Lift weights: Pumping iron can benefit your sex life too as pushing heavy weights can raise your testosterone levels. And testosterone is needed for erections, but it also increases your desire for sex (your libido). It’s thought that lifting heavy weights produces the best increases in testosterone, so get squatting and benching.
Lose weight: Being overweight increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. All of which can contribute to ED. Being overweight can reduce your testosterone levels too and sap your energy. If you keep your weight down, you should see better quality erections, a stronger sex drive, and more stamina between the sheets.
Eat a healthy diet: You might be asking yourself “what should I eat to last longer in bed?”. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, pulses, whole grains, and lean meats can help keep your weight down and boost your general health. Nutritious food also contains a range of nutrients your body needs to produce testosterone and to help your blood flow smoothly, like zinc, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid. Read more about good food choices for your sex life.
Drink coffee: Coffee used to be seen as an unhealthy vice, but a host of research has shown that’s not true. Coffee has plenty of health benefits, and research has revealed it has a similar effect on your body to Viagra. Coffee can open up blood vessels and improve the flow of blood to your penis, making it easier for you to get and keep an erection. Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day has been shown to significantly lower your chances of having ED.
Cut your stress: Stress can kill your desire for sex like water over a fire. Prolonged stress raises your cortisol levels which can reduce your libido as well as harming your health in a wide range of other ways. We know that telling you to de-stress is easier said than done, especially if you’ve got a demanding job, a difficult family, or other worries, but finding a way to clear your mind and get some peace can really help your sexual and mental health. Find something you love and take the time to do it without feeling any guilt.
Get enough sleep: Not sleeping enough is bad for your health. It can leave you struggling the next day and probably not in the mood for a bout of intense and vigorous lovemaking. There’s also evidence that a bad night’s sleep can contribute to ED too probably because your body produces most of its testosterone at night. Therefore, disrupting sleep may lower your testosterone levels.
Bad habits that can harm your sex life
Whilst there’s a lot you can do to improve your sex life, there are plenty of lifestyle choices that can make things go the other way. So, what can mess up your sex drive? The following are common culprits:
Drinking alcohol: A small amount of alcohol can lower inhibitions and put you in the mood, but too much alcohol can make it harder for you to get and maintain an erection. Drinking long term can damage your circulatory system too, increasing your chances of developing ED.
Taking recreational drugs: Drugs like ecstasy (MDMA) and speed (amphetamine) can give you temporary ED and can harm your health in the long term too.
Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can damage your blood vessels and your heart, making it more likely you’ll develop ED. There’s also evidence that smoking can damage the tissues inside your penis, which really isn’t going to help your sex life.
Eating too much sugar and fat: Sugary foods make your body produce more insulin, which can cause you to lose muscle and store fat around your stomach. Fat around your stomach can reduce your testosterone and increase your oestrogen levels, which can wreck your libido and your erections. Too much fat in your diet, particularly animal fats, can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol, impeding your blood flow, and making it harder for you to get and keep an erection.
Need more help with erectile dysfunction?
The above lifestyle advice can rejuvenate your sex life and give you firmer, longer-lasting erections as well as improving your general health. But sometimes ED can take more than lifestyle changes to beat.
If you have issues with ED, you should speak to your doctor as it can be caused by some serious health problems. You need to have yourself checked out. A medical professional can also advise you on how to improve erections, including using ED medications.
Many men with ED find that prescription medications like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) are effective treatments. You can read more about these medications here. If you’re interested in trying one, you can order them directly FROM MARS too.