If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction but don't love the idea of taking medication, there are some things you can do to regain control of your sexual function. Making some small changes in your everyday routine can improve your sex life and your overall health in general.

Get to steppin
Walking is a great way to get some exercise without any fancy equipment or a lengthy routine. Just 30 minutes of walking per day can help reduce your risk of ED by as much as 41%. If you have a dog, he or she will love accompanying you for daily walks.

Watch your diet
Diets high in fatty foods, processed grains, and red meat can contribute to the onset of erectile dysfunction. Instead, load up on fresh fruits and veggies, fish, whole grains, and fortified milk and yoghurt. Some key players in the vitamin game are vitamins B12 (important for spinal cord health, which is in turn responsible for keeping nerves in working order) and D (deficiencies in this vitamin are responsible for a 30% increase in the risk of developing ED). Vitamin B12 can be found in clams, certain types of fish, beef, yoghurt, fortified cereals, and multivitamin supplements. Vitamin D is found in fortified dairy (milk and yoghurt), eggs, cheese, and canned tuna.

Drop some pounds
Since you're eating better and getting some regular exercise, make a conscious effort to keep track of your weight. Staying at a healthy weight drastically reduces your chances of developing ED, and losing weight can help reverse the effects if you already have symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Extra weight can contribute to diabetes and vascular problems, both major risk factors for ED. Keep an eye on your waist size; a 42-inch waist makes you 50% more likely to have erectile dysfunction than a 32-inch waist.

Keep your vascular system healthy
Your vascular system needs to be in healthy working condition to prevent erectile dysfunction. Having high blood sugar, blood pressure, triglycerides, or LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) or low HDL cholesterol (the good kind) all contribute to vascular issues that could inhibit your ability to get an erection. Getting a full check-up from your doctor will alert you to any issues that need resolving, either through lifestyle changes or medication (or both).

Visit a dentist
The link here may not seem obvious, but gum disease may actually contribute to erectile dysfunction. A study published in in 2013 found that men with gum disease had higher instances of ED than men with healthy gums. This is believed to be due to chronic inflammation, which can damage the endothelial cells in blood vessels.

Erectile dysfunction doesn't have to be a life sentence, nor does it always require medication. Some simple lifestyle changes may be just what you need to restore healthy sexual function and regain the quality of your sex life.

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Author, Freelance writer