High Blood Pressure, Diet, Exercise, and ED

Medically Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on April 13, 2021

You may have much more success treating erection problems if you manage blood pressure first. Eating well and exercising regularly will help prevent and treat high blood pressure.

If you need help managing your blood pressure, try the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Following this plan can lower blood pressure in as little as 2 weeks. In general, the DASH diet emphasizes eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy products, while limiting salt, fat, and sugar.

You should limit sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day. That's only about two-thirds of a teaspoon of table salt.

That can be a hard target to hit if you eat a lot of processed foods (canned soups, cold cuts, or processed cheese, for example). Your best bet is to favor fresh foods that have no added preservatives or fats. Also, read food labels to check on how much sodium is in a serving, and don't add any extra salt.

How Exercise Helps

Burning calories through exercise helps you tone your body and lose weight. Being overweight makes erectile dysfunction more likely.

Many studies have shown that exercise also fights depression, which has a major impact on sexual function. With a leaner, toned body and a better sense of well-being and self-esteem, you're more likely to feel sexually confident.

When it comes to exercise, you don't have to follow any intense fad workouts. Just find a way to get your body moving and your heart rate up with 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week.

Quit Smoking

You already know that smoking cigarettes is bad for you. But did you know there's a link between smoking and erectile function? It happens because of the damage that smoking does to blood vessels. So look into quit-smoking programs, and get support from your doctor, family, and friends.

WebMD Medical Reference



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Shiri, R. International Journal of Impotence Research, published online 4 March 4, 2004.

WebMD Medical Reference: "Metabolism Calculator."

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