Most men recognize the importance of keeping their body in shape, but penis health – not so much.
Hitting the gym, chugging protein shakes, tracking gains and never, ever skipping leg day rank high on their list of priorities.
But when it comes to their penis, the only exercise most guys know is the “horizontal mambo.”
Why Men Don’t Talk About Penis Health
As boys, how the penis works was embarrassing to think about, let alone talk about with adults.
Those banana and balloon sex ed presentations in health class probably weren’t that helpful either.
Except for the passing joke, loads of teenage boys never really talk about penis health, so they’re left to learn on the fly and continue to figure things out with experience throughout adulthood.
Given the above, it’s no wonder grown men know so little about how their penis really functions — only if it does (or doesn’t).
Let’s take a look at how the penis actually works, and how to keep your tool in top shape over time.
Penis Health: The Basics
Before even thinking about healthy penile function, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the male reproductive system.
Like the totally lost guy hanging around the weight rack, being uninformed about basic penis structure dooms you from the start.
Think about it — would you ever touch free weights without knowing the difference between your biceps and triceps? Probably not!
The penis is made up of several basic parts (shaft, glans, scrotum, etc.). However, there are two major structures whose maintenance is crucial for a healthy penis:
- Corpus cavernosa: Two tissue columns running along the sides of the penis.
- Corpus spongiosum: An erectile tissue column on the underside of the penis that ends at the glans.
A proper erection requires healthy blood flow to the erectile tissues.
That’s why treating medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and hypertension is a key part of avoiding erectile dysfunction.
Use It or Lose It
Regular erections are key to maintaining tone in the smooth muscle of your penis.
Fortunately, unlike working out other parts of the body, some maintenance work is done for you.
Your brain causes nocturnal erections during the REM (or dreaming) phase of sleep, whether you’re dreaming about your high school crush or the grim reaper.
That said, brain-induced boners aren’t always enough to keep your penis at maximum pump.
If you’re sexually inactive, chronically stressed or have medical conditions that lead to not having erections during the day, your penile tissue can become less elastic and even shrink (aka penile atrophy).
If you’re worried, here are some easy ways to assess penile function:
- Track your erections: Track how many erections you have per day and how long they last.
- Notice changes in urine flow: Pay attention to how often you urinate, urine color, flow speed, etc.
- Take notes on sexual performance: Note anything unusual that happens during sexual activity, such as sudden loss of erection, pain or discomfort, etc. Single at the moment? Consider occasional masturbation or edging a few times per week.
Don’t Skip Pelvic Muscle Day
In addition to helping control the penis, the pelvic muscle system supports bladder, prostate and bowel function.
Men often forget that their penis is one of many important structures in the genital area, and keeping them all in shape supports penis health.
To strengthen your pelvic muscles, do pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels.
When done correctly and routinely, these exercises can help avoid poor erection quality, premature ejaculation, weak urine flow and bowel spasms.
They’re appropriate for men of any age and easy to do while watching TV, browsing the web or even before bed.
Remember, there’s no need to wait until these problems appear.
The blood, sweat and tears shed working on gains should include all muscles, so focusing on regular, strong erections will keep your unit in good shape for a long time.
Armed with this information, you can take control of your physical and sexual fitness.