Archives: January 2023
Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is right up there alongside heart disease, striking fear into the hearts of men everywhere. In fact, ED affects more people each year as our population gets older and our diets and lifestyles get decidedly less healthy. But let’s talk about ED and how it can possibly be a warning sign of future coronary artery disease.
To start, we must understand more about the blood vessels in the body. The blood transport mechanism is an unbelievably complex series of progressively smaller blood vessels that deliver critical oxygen to every cell in the body. You can imagine, therefore, that when blood flow is slowed or interrupted, the result is not good. When we talk about ED, we now know that the problem is primarily vascular in middle-aged and older men, and the mental health concerns that we once blamed it on don’t seem to play as big a role as we once thought. In fact, it’s widely accepted that if patients experience erectile dysfunction in their middle age or older, they are likely to have a cardiovascular concern or, at the very least, a heightened risk for future heart problems.
Starting a new exercise regimen can sometimes be nerve-racking if you’ve been diagnosed with heart (cardiovascular) disease. You know you have to do it, but one can’t help but wonder how it will affect your heart and if it will trigger a cardiovascular event. To be sure, any new exercise program should be discussed with your cardiologist to ensure maximum safety. But there are a few tried and true exercise programs that virtually everyone can pursue. One such program is known as zone 2 training or base training. When you think about training programs, you are often pushed toward HIIT, which involves bursts of high-intensity exercise. To be sure, there is a place for this kind of training, and with proper oversight from your medical team and exercise physiologist, it can be very successful. However, HIIT, typically higher zone training, does not create that base level of endurance and cardiovascular function that zone 2 can.