Probably no surprises here, but regular exercisers have more lift to their libido.  So says a recent study out of the VA medical center in North Carolina.  According to the research, men that worked out regularly (and quit or refrained from smoking) reported better sexual function.  This was true even after adjusting for age and race.  Nice. A related Finnish study showed that women who exercised regularly and quit or refrained from smoking had better urinary health.  These findings are scheduled to be released tomorrow at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco.

photo-1427384906349-30452365b5e8 (Copy)Although the benefits of exercise and disadvantages of smoking are pretty evident for most people, many do not realize how quickly they can benefit by just getting started now.  I’ve done it, quit smoking after twenty years.  I loved tobacco; but without a doubt, my greatest gains have been in my cardiovascular endurance, and that alone was worth quitting. I do not miss the feeling of being out of breath on the slightest brisk walk or run.  Sure, I continued to work out, play sports and be relatively active, but I was entirely aware of my cardiopulmonary limitations, simply because I’d get winded.  However, since I was smoking from a very early age, I didn’t realize how much it effected my endurance until I quit.  To this day I say it’s the greatest effect I’ve noticed, and that benefit alone keeps me from ever restarting.

When it comes to sexual health, the cardiovascular system is everything.  For men to get and maintain an erection, receiving proper blood flow to the penis is imperative.  That’s how Viagra works, by increasing penile blood flow.  But you can do it naturally: Kick the nicotine habit, and work out, both anaerobically (resistance training), and aerobically (treadmill, bike, hiking, elliptical, etc.).  I guarantee if you do both these actions (keys #2 and #6 in my book The Six Keys to Optimal Health), you’ll feel results almost immediately.  You know they say a hard man is good to find…well, it’s good for the man, too.

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