Keeping your penis healthy and functioning is essential. Just like protecting your heart, liver, or pancreas, you only have one penis and it deserves the same treatment. It’s not that penis health is hard to manage. But if you neglect this member of your body, its performance and health may suffer. And I know of no man who wishes ill will towards his penis.
While there are various components of practicing healthy penile habits, basic knowledge of your penis is helpful. Here are a few questions you likely have wondered but were hesitant to ask:
What should a normal penis look like?
Men, you can breathe a sigh of relief – penises come in a wide range of sizes, lengths, and appearances so there really is no “normal” regarding how they look. Just like walking into a coffee shop, there’s a wide variety of flavors and drinks but each are perfectly normal in their function. Despite whether a man is circumcised or not, the same is true of penises. Penises can be small or large, long or short, dark or light in appearance, curvy or bumpy. No matter what your appendage looks like, the size or appearance rarely changes the function and remember; as long as your penis is doing the jobs they’re capable of and meant to do, that’s exactly the main goal you want.
What should I do to keep my penis healthy?
From its appearance to its performance, the penis has a special ability of giving out clues about a man’s health status. That’s why keeping this organ in tip top shape matters. From your daily lifestyle practices and behaviors, to your workouts and sleep, they can make or break penile performance ultimately affecting if you have a happy sex life or not.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Exercise: A workout boosting blood flow keeps blood vessels flexible and healthy. Your penis is counting on you to get in regular exercise of at least three times a week of activities such as brisk walking, hiking, running, swimming, bicycling, or playing basketball or tennis. Some of the smallest vessels in your body lead to your penis. If you want to avoid erectile dysfunction (ED), the health of these blood vessels depend on you doing what it takes to easily get erections sufficient for sex.
If you do develop ED, even in your 40s, see your doctor since this could indicate heart disease or type 2 diabetes. The earlier these conditions are caught, the better chance of managing them and avoiding ED.
- Let go of stress: Living a stressful lifestyle does no favors to your penis. If stressful situations rule your life, just know that excess adrenaline due to stress, can constrict blood vessels, including those leading to the penis.
Everyone should have stress reduction techniques helping ease tension and to unwind. Here are a few examples to consider – meditation, a hobby you enjoy, pumping iron, talking with someone you trust, or being out in nature.
- Cut back on alcoholic beverages: Simply put, alcohol is bad for your sex life. Drinking in moderation can usually be tolerated but too much affects both your brain and penis. Studies have shown that sober men are able to achieve an erection more quickly than intoxicated men. That’s because one too many drinks reduces blood flow to your penis, reduces intensity of orgasms, and dampens your level of excitement – basically sex won’t be as pleasurable. So, put a cap on the number of alcoholic beverages you consume, if any at all.
- Drink more water: Staying well-hydrated helps keep everything flowing throughout your body. From plasma and blood cells to nutrients and oxygen, water is life-giving and important to the health of your penis. The standard recommendation is to divide your weight in half and that is about how many ounces of water to be drinking each day.
- Pay attention to your urine stream: Besides the reproductive function of your penis, it also has a vital urinary function, allowing for the passage of urine several times a day. Are you paying attention to this special function? Be mindful of any changes or signals that your urine stream may be sending: straining, pushing, dribbling, red or rust color stream, or feeling like you can’t empty your bladder completely. Any of these symptoms may indicate an infection, scarring from an STD, or prostate issues. See your urologist as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
- Make sleep a priority: Everyone needs sufficient sleep allowing the body time to heal and restore itself. But sometimes men tend to burn the candle at both ends meaning they may skimp on how much sleep their body (and penis) require. Men with inadequate sleep are more likely to have low testosterone levels or low T. Low T has a domino effect of reducing sexual desire, reduced muscle mass, and difficulty in achieving an erection. Sleep loss is also linked to body fat, especially belly fat in men. Belly fat is usually in the form of visceral fat that can convert testosterone to estrogen more quickly making it harder to maintain healthy levels of this male hormone.