Holidays without ED

Whatever holidays you celebrate, December is a special month where you can pause and take in the special moments. 

But for many people, the holidays are also a time of overindulgence. You may not be aware of the dangers to your health—primarily men’s sexual health—caused by drinking alcohol, overeating, and smoking. 

All these things can and do cause erectile dysfunction (ED), so today, let’s talk about how to enjoy this holiday season without putting yourself at risk!

How Do Unhealthy Habits Cause ED?

Habits like smoking, overeating, and consuming too much alcohol can negatively affect your sexual health in the moment and throughout your life.

Your penis is an organ, and good health is essential for long-lasting erections and sexual satisfaction of this vital body part.

The first signs of ED are sometimes circulation problems because of damaged blood vessels that impact blood flow. When your circulation system gets affected, it becomes far more challenging to get and keep a healthy erection. 

Some habits are proven to affect your health negatively:


Cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals that can cause blood vessels to harden, and eventually, the blood vessels get destroyed.

Smoking can cause less blood to reach the penis while reducing nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which impacts a healthy erection.


clogged arteries

The health risk of clogged arteries increases with overeating. For people already at risk, indulging in too much salty gravy and fatty turkey can be a real gamble. 

Overeating also makes people feel too tired and disinterested in getting some exercise—this combination is known to contribute to ED.

Drinking Too Much Booze

Higher alcohol consumption often leads to erectile dysfunction in several unhealthy ways.

Alcohol is a chemical depressant that can dampen your sexual appetite and make it harder to get and maintain a firm erection. Booze also lowers the volume of healthy blood in your body, reducing proper circulation.

Oakwood Health Network’s Holiday Guide for Men

At OHN, our wish is that you enjoy the holiday season! Our guide will help you celebrate in ways that won’t increase your risks of experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Drink Alcohol Moderately

We want you to make merry this season! But it’s a great idea to respect your healthy limitations, which can mean drinking moderately.

So, what does “moderate drinking” mean?

For most men, moderate drinking is two “standard-sized” drinks in several hours. For measuring purposes, consider a standard drink to be 14 grams of alcohol.

Here are examples:

  • 5% alcohol in one (1) 12-ounce beer
  • 7% alcohol in one (1) 8-ounce malt liquor
  • 12% alcohol in one (1) 5-ounce glass of wine
  • 40% alcohol in one (1) shot of liquor (1.5 ounces).

Here’s how to measure up your servings of alcohol even more simply:

  • One (1) pint of beer with 7% alcohol counts as two (2) standard drinks, especially a darker craft beer, because the alcohol content is stronger.
  • Check how many shots of liquor go into your cocktail because two (2) shots count as two drinks.

Another essential thing to consider with “moderate drinking” is that we’re not talking about drinking every day for a week in a row! 

People might also mistakenly think they can “save up” their drinks and enjoy them all at once (for instance, on New Year’s Eve). The idea of “saving up” your drinks is not recommended.

Drink alcohol moderately

Eliminate Smoking Entirely

Quitting smoking is tough, we know. But there is never a healthy excuse for ingesting the chemicals in cigarettes, cigars, and other substances. 

If you need further proof, we have it: the risk of ED is always greater in men who smoke, and it doesn’t matter how old the man is or what other health risks he may be facing. 

Put it this way. Even two cigarettes daily put your physical and sexual health at far greater risk. 

We do have good news, though!

Because the earlier you quit smoking, the better. Medical research proves that your physical and sexual health can recover faster; after eliminating smoking, your quality of life dramatically improves.

Practice Mindful Eating

Have you heard of mindfulness?

It’s a great technique that allows you to focus on the moment and what you’re feeling and experiencing in a relaxed and stress-free way. Medical professionals are now using this technique for “mindful eating!”

In 2014, researchers collected the results from 21 studies on mindful eating. Eighteen of these studies showed that mindful eating helped people to stop binge eating or emotional eating. 

These findings are promising research, although we’re waiting for more significant evidence that “mindful eating” is a practical way to prevent people from overeating. 

Still, it’s beneficial to practice mindful eating during the holidays. Here’s how:

  • Instead of shovelling the food down, focus on how it tastes on your tongue, the pleasant smells, and how the food feels in your mouth as you eat.
  • Concentrate on your thoughts and emotions while eating because it slows down the eating process and increases your enjoyment!

No matter what time of year it is, one thing in your life provides significant health benefits. It’s moderate exercise, and you can begin whether or not you’re making a New Year’s resolution.

Why Winter Activities Are Great

Winter activities at Christmas

Perhaps the best way to take your mind off smoking, overeating, or drinking more during the holidays is by exercising more.

If it’s cold or snowy enough outside, build a snowman or take the family ice skating. These are fun activities to enjoy during the holidays and remind ourselves of the fun we had when we were kids!

A stroll around the neighbourhood to admire holiday decorations is also fun exercise. Take some pictures on your phone to remember throughout the year!

Oakwood Health Network Wishes You a Blessed 2023

As another year draws to a close and a new year arrives, Oakwood Health Network (OHN) wishes you the best this holiday season. 

At OHN, we make your wishes come true!

Our network of men’s health specialists can assist with physical or sexual health questions and concerns that affect you now and throughout the year.

Feel free to contact us—we’re pleased to offer you a complimentary consultation because, at OHN, the world is yours.

Get your mojo back in 2023!

Gentlemen’s Way (2021) “Dos and don’ts for holiday dating,” 1 December. Available at: (Accessed: November 20, 2022).

Gentlemen’s Way (2021) “Tips to navigate ED during the holidays,” 1 December. Available at: (Accessed: November 20, 2022).

Huizen, J. (2019) What are the best ways to stop overeating?, Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at: (Accessed: November 21, 2022).

Kennard, J. (2021) Alcohol Consumption Guidelines for Men, Verywell Health. Verywell Health. Available at: (Accessed: November 19, 2022).

Kovac JR, Labbate C, Ramasamy R, Tang D, Lipshultz LI. Effects of cigarette smoking on erectile dysfunction. Andrologia. 2015 Dec;47(10):1087-92. doi: 10.1111/and.12393. Epub 2014 Dec 29. PMID: 25557907; PMCID: PMC4485976.

O’Reilly GA, Cook L, Spruijt-Metz D, Black DS. Mindfulness-based interventions for obesity-related eating behaviours: a literature review. Obes Rev. 2014 Jun;15(6):453-61. doi: 10.1111/obr.12156. Epub 2014 Mar 18. PMID: 24636206; PMCID: PMC4046117.