Logging some serious sweat time not only staves off unsightly fat and improves your cardiovascular health, but it can also save you from embarrassing malfunctions in the bedroom, says new research from East Carolina University.

The modern Western diet—high in saturated fat, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and excess sugar—comes with its share of unfortunate consequences, one being erectile dysfunction. Until now, researchers have been unable to find an effective way, aside from eating healthier, to prevent problems associated with this type of diet and the weight gain that often comes with it. 

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In the new study, researchers tested the effects of exercise on a high-fat, high-sugar diet using rats as subjects. Results showed rats that followed a Western diet and exercised regularly were able to avoid E.D. and heart disease, while those that followed the diet but were sedentary experienced health problems. Still, rats fed a balanced diet were most likely to avoid erectile dysfunction and heart disease regardless of exercise.

Human translation? In order to reverse or prevent functional impairment, you’ve got to remain extremely active during periods of consuming junk food.

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What this information means for you: Stick to a healthy diet as best you can, and when you slip up, hit the gym hard. Doing so will keep you, and especially your buddy downstairs, in top shape. Need some fresh workout ideas? Try these routines to take your sweat sessions up a notch.