The average adult should try to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week and do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice per week (Mayo Clinic). However, it is estimated that less than 5% of adults get 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Exercise provides a host of benefits to your overall well-being. But did you know that exercise affects your oral health too?
5 Benefits of Exercise
Ensuring you complete some physical activity every day can do far more for you and your body than just help you keep your weight in check. Exercise can help you to live longer and provides a variety of physical and mental benefits.
1. Exercise can lower your stress and boost your mood
When you exercise, it increases the production of endorphins which can induce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. This results in an elevated mood and decreased feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Plus, as you develop the habit of exercising, your body starts to crave it more and more because it appreciates and desires the natural high that physical activity provides. This means that the more you exercise, the more you want to exercise. And your body and overall health benefit from it.
2. When you exercise, it reduces your risk of chronic disease
A lack of exercise means an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. When you exert yourself, it improves insulin sensitivity and body composition including your ability to lose weight and gain lean muscle. Further, physical activity improves your cardiovascular fitness which decreases blood pressure and the fat levels in your blood. Even if you stop exercising for just a few days or weeks, it can start to erode at all of the benefits that you gained back when you did hit the treadmill or weights on a regular basis. A lack of exercise will lead to that belly fat creeping back and will increase your risk of developing those chronic diseases.
3. It lowers your cholesterol
High cholesterol can be extremely dangerous. Though your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, when those cholesterol levels get too high, it can increase your chances of developing heart disease. The fatty deposits that develop in your blood vessels as a result of high cholesterol levels can break suddenly and form a clot in your arteries that can cause a stroke or heart attack. Though high cholesterol can indeed be inherited from your blood relatives, it is more often developed due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Thus, exercise and a healthy diet can help keep your cholesterol at a healthy level.
4. You’ll feel a confidence boost
Oftentimes, self confidence issues are closely correlated with body perception. When we exercise, it helps improve our image by reducing weight and increasing lean muscle. Seeing the results of our efforts in the mirror can be extremely motivating, improving our self-esteem and the way we feel about how we look. This naturally translates to elevated confidence. But beyond an improvement in how our bodies look and operate, physical activity helps us feel better overall, makes us feel stronger (and not just because of increased muscle and cardiovascular health), improves our brain power, and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Combining all of those benefits together provides a significant boost to our confidence level that can be positively addicting.
5. Exercise is a great way to improve oral health
It’s safe to say that when we feel good about our bodies we smile more, and that means that we’re more likely to flash those pearly whites. Medical researchers also estimate that when we get regular exercise, we are over 50% less likely to develop gum disease. Even exercising just a few times a week can mean over 30% less risk of periodontal disease. But aside from this, when we move our bodies we’re more likely to make other healthy decisions too. Those who exercise even a few times a week are less likely to smoke and consume excess alcohol. And, when we get regular physical activity, we’re more likely to make better food choices and maintain a healthy oral care regimen including brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash.
Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center Encourages Regular Exercise
Of course, the team here at Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center encourages regular exercise for all of our patients. Not only is it good for your physical wellbeing, it is good for your mouth and that makes us happy. But a big part of protecting our oral health through preventive dental care does include regular visits to the dentist.
If you are looking for encouragement to make exercise a part of your life, are busy searching online for a dentist near you, or want to know more about exercise and gum disease or exercise and tooth health, we’re here to help. Give our office a call at (610) 272-6949 or request an appointment via our easy to use appointment request form.