Do you find yourself thinking about sex less often? Are your erections not as robust as they once were? Do you find you are not turned on as easily as you did when you were younger? Well rest easy, it’s a myth that aging has to be a buzzkill in the bedroom.
Take care of yourself, stick to a healthy lifestyle and you’ll continue to thrive between the sheets.
While no one thing may be the answer, it's the small changes along the way and the easy items to incorporate into your daily living that will build on each other and make the difference overall. No quick fixes, take it slow and steady....we're in it for the LONG run remember!
Here’s some things to help you (and us!) along the way….
Of all time importance is sleep. Much research has been done on sleep and it is widely known not having enough restful sleep will interfere with hormone production. Burning the candle at both ends and substituting with caffeine is a recipe for low testosterone. Too much coffee raises cortisol levels which affects blood sugar affecting belly fat, affecting testosterone - you get the picture. Wonderful, blissful, restful sleep - do your best to get what your body needs.
Eating the right types of foods, and in the right portion size, will keep you healthy and ready for sex. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, limited lean meats, and fish. A healthy diet helps protect against heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and other chronic conditions that can affect your sexual performance and desire.
Here are some great foods to help keep your Sex-Drive-Alive:
Soy is one of those ubiquitous ingredients often added to processed foods. Stay with whole foods that don’t have hidden ingredients. Much of soy is unfortunately genetically modified and along with that can be estrogen receptor enhancing. Beer has hops and hops have been used in herbal medicines for phytoestrogens. May be best to go easy on beer, and in the long run that will help with belly fat anyway.
If you plan on using supplements to increase testosterone, make sure there is science behind the claims instead of just fluff and the promise of higher T levels. This is why we have written about foods to support healthy hormone levels. Let food be thy medicine whenever possible!
Keeping extra pounds off will “help minimize and reverse lower urinary tract symptoms [linked to an enlarged prostate] and will lower your prostate cancer risk,” says Marc Garnick, MD, a prostate specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “In general, anything that is heart-healthy is prostate-healthy.” Over time, too much fat can lead to clogged arteries and poorer blood flow, which is essential for any healthy erection.
Regular vigorous exercise improves your heart’s ability to pump blood. That’s important for sex, because a strong erection needs plenty of blood flow into your privates and any partner appreciates the added stamina!
Resistance training is important for building testosterone. But forget the long workouts with long rest periods. Do higher volume sets at moderate weight and keep your workout at no more than 60 minutes. More research has revealed that interval training is better than excessive aerobic activity which can interfere with testosterone and raise cortisol levels. Interval training can strengthen your heart and increase your endurance and takes less time. Work up a sweat for 20 to 30 minutes each day and you’ll be a lot less likely to fail to launch. If you’re not used to exercise, start slowly. Brisk walking is an ideal workout, and your whole body will benefit. (If you're age 40+ or have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any exercise plan.)
A recent study found that men with physically demanding jobs were less likely to develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate, than men with desk jobs. Men who found time for 5 or more hours of exercise a week, whether job-related or for fun, were 30% to 50% less likely to develop BPH than those who exercised fewer than 2 hours a week.
A word of warning if your choice of exercise is cycling: Garnick says bicycle riding may worsen some prostate-related conditions. You don’t want undue pressure on the groin if you have BPH, erectile disfunction or inflammation of the prostate, says Garnick. “Bike riding is 180 to 200 pounds sitting on that little gland.” If you are a cycling fan, get a prostate-friendly saddle, which is designed with a gap to remove pressure down there.
And men - you may think Kegels are just for women. But these exercises, which strengthen the muscles in your pelvic region, can help control incontinence in men who have an enlarged prostate. To do a Kegel exercise, clench your bladder like you’re trying to stop the flow of urine and hold for 5 seconds. Work up to two to three sets of 10 to 20 Kegels per day.
Men who quit smoking say they have better erections and faster arousal than men who don’t kick the habit. Men who smoke are twice as likely to have ED than nonsmokers. Consider the benefits you’ll reap in the bedroom and stop smoking now. If you've tried before, keep trying until it sticks.
IS IT IN YOUR HEAD?
Sex starts in your brain, so pay close attention to what’s going on in your head. Get help when you need it. Depression, for example, is a serious illness that disrupts many parts of daily life, and it can hamper sexual desire and likely be a cause of ED. Chronic stress, which raises your blood pressure, cortisol and blocks effects of testosterone, is another libido killer. So relax and revive!
OR, IS IT SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS?
Guys, it’s a fact of life as you get older, certain physical changes can impact your performance in the bedroom. Low Testosterone may be one of those changes. Testosterone is the hormone that fuels a man’s sex drive. After age 40, levels may gradually go down, along with libido.
If you lose your desire for sex or have erection problems, you could have low testosterone, or a more serious health problem. Lots of things can make low Testosterone more likely, including high levels of insulin which may indicate type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney failure, hormone disorders, damage to the testicles, and certain genetic conditions. Some medications can also affect your testosterone levels. And low Vitamin D affects T levels too, as Vitamin D is really a hormone not a vitamin.
A blood test will tell you if your T levels are low. So if you are experiencing a low sex drive or libido, its time for that checkup! You may also want to read our Wellness Education article, Andropause - Progesterone Cream for Men.
So…the good news is these are the things you can do now to help keep your Sexual Vitality! Now, take a break, sit back and enjoy this smoothie, spiced up with a bit of ginger to increase circulation and enhance the libido! It’s better shared by two!