While brushing and flossing help strengthen your teeth, your oral health also depends on physical fitness to stay in prime shape.
In an earlier post, we mentioned that researchers have found a link between oral health and whole-body health. We invited you to make changes to improve your oral health, including the following:
- Stop smoking
- Practice better oral hygiene
- Avoid dry mouth
- See a dentist when problems arise
Apart from the ABCs of good oral health, recent studies have found that physical exercise helps decrease gum disease and periodontitis as well. One study found that individuals who regularly exercised were over 50% less likely to have gum disease, and individuals who were partially active (2-3 times a week) were over 30% less likely to have gum disease.
This studies’ astonishing results should encourage all people to incorporate regular exercise into their schedule. Regular exercise comes with an array of benefits:
- Reduces inflammation: A fully-functioning inflammation response helps reduce periodontal disease.
- Prevents diabetes: Since diabetics are far more likely to develop gum disease, regular exercise helps control blood sugar and helps prevent diabetes.
- Improves circulation: Strengthening your cardiovascular system improves blood circulation and overall oral health.
Do you feel as if you don’t have the time to fit regular exercise into your daily routine? You are not alone. The majority of people skip exercise time because of busy schedules and hectic workdays. Here’s a list of exercises you can do while brushing your teeth - kill two birds with one stone and improve your oral health while you’re at it.Balance
Have you ever tried doing yoga while you brush? If not, here’s your chance. Begin slowly and try balancing on one leg. After you’ve mastered the “well-balanced foot” pose, you can move on to something more advanced. Other one-leg yoga poses (that you can do while you brush) include the following:
- Eagle Pose – Put weight onto your right leg and lift your left foot off the floor. Keep your right knee bent and wrap your left thigh over your right. Next, hook your left foot behind your right calf.
- Tree Pose – Put weight onto your right leg and lift your left foot off the floor. Bend your left leg and bring the sole of your foot to your inner-right thigh. Stay in this pose and brush.
- King Dancer Pose – Put weight onto your right leg and lift your left leg off the floor. Hold the inside of your left foot with your left hand and raise the foot so that your body straightens out horizontally. Brush with your free hand.
- Warrior III Pose – Put weight onto your right leg and lift your left leg out behind you. Straighten your back so that it is parallel with the floor, hold the pose, and brush.
Remember to alternate between legs during one-leg yoga posesAbs
Holding your legs and neck up while lying on the floor is one of the easiest ways to work your abdominal muscles. Called “the hundred,” this abdominal workout offers stellar results without much work:
- Lie on the floor
- Exhale and raise your head and shoulders off the floor
- Lift your legs off the floor and into a 45- or 90-degree angle
- Pump your arm (whichever one isn’t holding the toothbrush) for 100 pumps.
- Pump your other arm (and hold your toothbrush in the arm you just used to pump) for 100 pumps.
While most abdominal exercises require both arms, “the hundred” is easy, simple, and almost arm-free.Legs
If you want healthy teeth and killer quads, follow these exercises below:
- Stand up and place one arm in front of you (use the other to brush). Bend one knee and then lower into a squatting position. Raise one leg and keep it straight (hovering 6 inches above the ground) for 30 seconds. Switch legs.
- Stand with your back to the wall and lower yourself down into a squat (use the wall for assistance). Stay in a squat position for 60 seconds. Repeat the exercise three times.
- Stand with your feet apart, step your right foot behind you, and lunge. While in a lunge, pulse up and down 15-20 times. Alternate between legs and repeat as long as it takes to brush.
- Stand with feet a shoulder-width apart and take a step backwards with your right foot. Stretch one arm out (like an airplane wing) and flap it up and down. Alternate between arms and repeat for three minutes.
For more information on oral health call your Edmonton dentist at Azarko Dental Group at 780-483-7079.