3 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

Healthy Living

People are apprehensive about going to the dentist during this COVID-19 outbreak. Heck, some dental professionals are apprehensive working in a dental office during these uncertain times. Times are tough but we as a people are tougher. We always find ways to survive. To help you help yourself and others, I would like to share 3 simple ways to stay healthy.

Since people are forgoing visits to the dentist and we don’t really know how long this pandemic will be around, oral health may be suffering. Wearing a mask all day is causing many people to not drink enough water causing dehydration and dry mouth. When the mouth is dry people are prone to an increase in cavities and gum disease.

The changes in the current climate are putting self-care on the table and many people are listening. What can people do to help themselves stay healthy from head to toe?

Electric Toothbrushes

Brüush

Electric toothbrushes have been around for decades, but the last five years have seen a steady upward trend in sales and searches. Dental professionals trust electric toothbrushes and most agree, they are a necessary tool for patients. Why? Most electric toothbrushes have a 2 minute timer, allowing the user to thoroughly brush their teeth. Electric toothbrushes are also gentle on the teeth and gums, decreasing the chances of trauma.

As a dental hygienist, I typically give electric toothbrushes out as gifts to family and friends and they love it! A healthy, clean mouth helps to keep you healthy from head to toe.

A patient once told me that when he couldn’t sleep he would go and brush his teeth. He said that when he did that, he slept like a baby. This is good advice. I told my husband about this and when he can’t sleep, he too brushes his teeth and it does the job, every time.

Eat Healthy

The American Dental Association says, “Your body is a complex machine. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, too. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.”

A healthy, wholesome diet rich in vegetables and fruit is essential for overall health and during times like these, boosting your immune system and staying healthy, from head to toe is a good idea. You will feel happier, stronger and well.

Exercise

American Council on Exercise

You have heard it over and over, exercise is good for you! But you may ask, what kind of exercise is good? Hippocrates wrote about the dangers of too little activity (and too much food). Exercising is not only good for your physical self but is great for your mind. It is said that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days of the week is recommended. But what does that look like?

I went to the online Harvard Medical School for inspiration and found some juicy information to share with you on exercising. It is my hope that this information will inspire and motivate you to move.

The trip of a thousand miles begins…

Some exercise, even if it is pretty minimal, is better than none, particularly among people who are very sedentary.

So in that spirit, we’ve made 27 suggestions for ways to become a little bit more physically active.

1. Take the far away spot. Walking from the farthest corner of the parking lot will burn a few calories. If it’s a parking garage, head for the roof and use the stairs.

2. Walk to the next stop. If you take a bus or train, don’t wait at the nearest stop. Walk to the next one. Or, at the end of your journey, get off a stop early and finish up on foot.

3. Hang loose. During your bus or train trip, stand and don’t hold on too tightly. You’ll improve your sense of balance and build up your “core” back and abdominal muscles.

4. Get into the swing of it. Swinging your arms when you walk will help you reach the brisk pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour that is the most healthful.

5. Walk and talk. If you are a member of a book group, propose 15 to 20 minutes of peripatetic discussion of the book before you sit down and chat.

6. Walk while you watch. Soccer moms, dads, and grandparents can circle the field several times during a game and not miss a single play.

7. Walk tall. Maintaining good posture — chest out, shoulders square but relaxed, stomach in — will help keep your back and abdominal muscles in shape. Besides, you’ll just look a whole lot healthier if you don’t slouch (mom was right).

8. Adopt someone as your walking, jogging, or biking buddy. Adding a social element to exercise helps many people stick with it.

9. That buddy might have four legs. Several studies have shown that dog owners get more exercise than the canine-less.

10. Be part of the fun. Adults shouldn’t miss a chance to jump into the fray if kids are playing on a playground or splashing around in the water. Climbing on the jungle gym (be careful!) and swinging on a swing will strengthen muscles and bones and set a good example.

11. Dine al fresco. Tired of eating at home? Skip the restaurant meal, which tends to be heavy on the calories. Pack a picnic. You’ll burn calories looking for the best spot and carrying the picnic basket.

12. Put on your dancing shoes. Exercise doesn’t have to be done in a straight line. Dancing can get your heart going and helps with balance. Dance classes tend to have lower dropout rates than gyms. Or just turn up the volume at home and boogie.

13. Wash and dry the dishes by hand. The drying alone is a mini-workout for the arms.

14. Don’t use an electric can opener. It’s good for your hand, wrist, and arm muscles to use a traditional opener. For the same reason, peel and chop your own vegetables and avoid the precut versions.

15. Clean house. Even if you have a cleaning service, you can take responsibility for vacuuming a couple of rooms yourself. Fifteen minutes burns around 80 calories. Wash some windows and do some dusting and you’ve got a pretty decent workout — and a cleaner house.

16. Hide that remote. Channel surfing can add hours to screen time. If you have to get up to change the channel, you are more likely to turn it off and maybe do something else that’s less sedentary.

17. Go swimmingly somewhere. Swimming is great exercise if you have arthritis because the water supports your weight, taking the load off of joints. The humid air around a pool sometimes makes breathing more comfortable for people with lung problems.

18. Take a walk on the waterside. Even people who can’t, or don’t like to, swim can get a good workout by walking through the water. Try walking fast, and you’ll get cardiovascular benefits. Walking in water is a great way to rehabilitate if you’re recovering from an injury and certain types of surgery because the water acts as a spotter, holding you up.

19. Don’t e-mail. In the office, get out of your chair, walk down the hallway, and talk to the person. At home, write an old-fashioned letter and walk to a mailbox — and not the nearest one — to mail it.

20. Stand up when you’re on the phone. Breaking up long periods of sitting has metabolic benefits. Even standing for a minute or two can help.

21. Grow a garden. No matter how green the thumb, the digging, the planting, the weeding, and the picking will ramp up your activity level and exercise sundry muscles.

22. Use a push mower. Even if you have a large lawn, pick a small part of it to mow in the old-fashioned way. You get a nice workout, you’re not burning any gas, and it’s usually quieter. The same reasoning favors the rake over the leaf blower.

23. Think small. Small bouts of activity are better than knocking yourself out with a workout that will be hard to replicate.

24. Be a stair master. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you can. It’s good for your legs and knees, and your cardiovascular health will benefit from the little bit of huffing and puffing. Don’t overdo. One flight at a time.

25. Stairs tip #2. You’ll give the gluteal muscles a nice little workout if you can climb up two stairs at a time.

26. Stairs tip #3. You can give your calf muscles a nice little stretch by putting the ball of the foot on the stair and lowering your heel.

Bonus Secret

Drink water! Your entire body and mind depends on it.

Stay safe, Annamarie

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