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Keep Healthy to Keep it Up

Published:Monday | December 29, 2014 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

When it comes to men and their 'packages', the thought of not being able to use it is more than many can bare. Have no fear men, it is not an inevitable fate, and lifestyle practices can help to prevent this tragedy.

When it comes to erectile dysfunction, sometimes a man's worst enemy is himself. First and foremost, a man's biggest sex organ is his brain, according to Dr Garth Rattray. Fear and overanalysis are one of the biggest hindrances to a man's performance, especially in young men. He advises that men should not view sex as a performance. This will help to take the pressure off.

Then there are men that want to look like Greek gods - so-called perfect men with a six pack and muscles all over his body. In order to get and maintain this unrealistic expectation, men sometimes take anabolic steroids. This is a complete no-no. This can shrink a man's penis and testicles and cause erectile dysfunction. It is a high price to pay for what people think is a healthy or attractive body.

Smoking is another lifestyle habit Rattray named that might impact a man's performance in the bedroom. It is not only a nasty habit that affects your lungs and general health, but lowers the possibility of you being able to get an erection.

He noted that there are a few

illnesses that also lead to erectile dysfunction, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. There are also illnesses associated with pain, like rheumatoid arthritis, which might not directly affect a man's ability to have an erection but the pain can distract him from getting one.

What can men do?

Preventative methods are simple. According to Rattray, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will keep you going longer. A balanced diet and frequent exercise is the main preventative method. Men should also opt for boxers instead of briefs so that their testes get to 'breathe' - the cooler the better.

If for some reason you do manage to suffer from erectile dysfunction, see your physician. It does not have to go downhill from here. There are many medications to help you.