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Get Fit For Your Smile!

By Jill Feilmeier on May 2, 2013 in Healthy Living

Mother and son on a walk

May is Employee Health & Fitness Month and it's time to take some “me” time. Not only will regular exercise help with your overall health, your teeth will benefit too.

Healthy Weight = Less Gum Disease

A recent study in the Journal of Periodontology  found that increasing your physical activity leads to healthier teeth and gums. During the trial, researchers from the University of Florida measured the body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and maximal oxygen consumption in a group of volunteers. The team used these factors to determine each person’s weight control and exercising capabilities and then assessed each participant’s oral health.

Researchers discovered that individuals who maintained a healthy weight and exercised regularly were less likely to develop gum disease. Chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes – diseases that can also lead to oral health problems – are also less common in people who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise at Work

I know what you're thinking – I hate to exercise or I don't have time to exercise. The good news is just a half hour of an elevated heart rate can reduce your risks for a plethora of diseases. If you're short on time, here are 3 exercises you can do at work:

1) While seated, pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, then rapidly tap your feet on the floor, football-drill style, for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

2) Take to the stairs – two at a time if you need a harder workout! Do this 5-7 times a day.

3) To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Do 15 times.

There are physical activity opportunities all around us at work if we only look for them. So next time you want to take the elevator, get active instead!