One way to improve erectile dysfunction is to make some simple lifestyle changes. For some men, adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress, may be all that is needed to find relief. For those who require more intensive treatment, adopting these lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments can further help.
Quitting smoking can be very difficult and there is no single best way to quit that works for all people. Some approaches to try that might help you kick the habit include:
- Pick a quit date one to three weeks in the future. Prepare for the date by cutting down on smoking, staying away from your favorite places to smoke, and making a plan for how you will deal with stressful events without smoking.
- On your quit date, get rid of all cigarettes, keep busy, and stay in smoke-free places.
- Talk to your doctor to see if you should try nicotine replacement therapy or if a non-nicotine prescription treatment is right for you.
- Make a clean break. Do not allow yourself to smoke "now and then." An addiction to nicotine can be reactivated anytime, even years after quitting.
- Take it one moment, one hour, one day at time. Cravings to smoke are usually short-lived and will go away whether or not you have a cigarette.
- Get help with quitting if you need it. Choose a comprehensive smoking cessation program that does not rely on a single technique (such as hypnosis). Your doctor can point you in the right direction.
Regular exercise can improve your health in many ways. Along with improving erectile function, exercise can:
- Strengthen the heart
- Build energy levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve muscle tone and strength
- Strengthen and build bones
- Help reduce body fat
- Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression
- Boost self-image and self-esteem
- Improve sleep
- Make you feel more relaxed and rested
- Make you look fit and healthy
To get the most benefit, you should exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes, preferably on most days of the week. If you are a beginner, exercise for a few minutes each day and build up to 30 minutes. Discuss starting an exercise program with your doctor.