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Exercise Reduces Impotence

      Here's another incentive to head to the gym: research shows men who exercise regularly are less likely to develop impotence as they age.
      Researchers at the New England Research Institutes of Watertown, Mass., studied 593 men, ages 40 to 70, who completed a mail-in questionnaire about their sex lives and other areas of their lifestyles, such as levels of physical activity. At the beginning of the study, none of the men reported erectile dysfunction, but at the end of the nine-year study, 17 percent of the survey respondents said they now suffered from impotence.
      From reviewing the survey results, researchers found men who burned at least 200 calories daily -- the equivalent of a brisk 2-mile walk -- were less likely to develop impotence than those who led a sedentary life. The findings indicate that even minimal exercise is better than no exercise at all when it comes to maintaining a healthy sex life, researchers report in the October 2000 issue of Urology.
      Even men who started out sedentary but began exercising during the course of the study showed a lower risk for impotence, researchers say.
      This finding affirms other studies that reached the same conclusions. Researchers say it's no surprise exercise would have this effect since physical activity improves blood vessel health, which aids blood flow. Erectile dysfunction is the result of too little blood flow reaching the penis. And at the same time, exercise can greatly cut a man's risk for heart disease. In fact, impotence can be an early warning sign of heart artery disease since the penis is more sensitive to slow-downs in blood flow than the heart
      Impotence affects about one quarter of North American men by the age of 65, and there is no cure. It can be treated-most notably with Viagra--but preventing it in the first place should be the goal.

- More articles on Impotence

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