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How to Floss, Brush, and Multitask Your Way to Better Fitness

February 19, 2019

L. Powers


Americans commit half their waking time to sitting or other sedentary behaviors, and it’s causing a host of health problems ranging from back pain and weight gain to heart disease and even cancer. Research says that too much standing could be just as bad, and your daily run isn’t enough.

So, what’s the answer? The better path to wellness and a longer life, it turns out, is doing short bouts of activity throughout the day. And the morning is a great time to start.

Even if you’re a weekend warrior, experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week—that’s 30 minutes for every work day. Unfortunately for those with desk jobs, long commutes, and families, finding extra time for exercise can be difficult.

The good news is that short bursts of exercise sprinkled throughout your day offer health benefits while keeping chronic disease at bay. If you’re willing and open, small changes to your morning routine can make passive activities active, without holding you up.

Water Flosser Fitness

Water Flossing Leg Lifts

Do these multitasking exercises on dry, non-slip surfaces:

  1. Stand in front of your sink, lean forward, and rest one palm on the counter for support
  2. Lean over the sink to Water Floss with your free hand
  3. Extend one leg straight out behind you and hold, or pulse
  4. Hold in your stomach
  5. Keep your back flat and neck straight
  6. Switch legs every 30 seconds

As you get comfortable with this activity, try variations such as fire hydrants (lifting your bent leg to the side). Depending on the size of your Water Flosser reservoir, this can add a minute or more of exercise to your day.

Related: Floss in the shower with waterproof, cordless Water Flossers

Electric Toothbrush Fitness

Toothbrushing Wall Sits

The Waterpik Sensonic® Professional Plus toothbrush features a 2-minute timer that signals every 30 seconds to switch areas in your mouth. It’s handy for pacing stationary exercises, especially wall sits:

  1. Press your back against a wall
  2. Bend your knees at a 90-degree (slide down the wall as needed)
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and work your way up to 2 minutes of exercise (brushing twice a day adds 4 minutes per day)

Related: Do Electric toothbrushes really work?

How to do a wall sit

Multitasking Fitness

Walking Lunges

As you walk around your bedroom and bathroom, squeeze in some lunges:

  1. Lunge deeply and slowly with every step
  2. Complete 10 lunges each trip
  3. Work up to 3 sets to add 3 minutes of exercise to your day

Towel Bar Pliés

While you wait for the shower to warm up or the tub to fill, stand near your towel bar for pliés:

  1. Heels together or apart, turn your toes outward as far as you can while maintaining balance and upright posture
  2. Keeping your knees over your toes, bend your knees and slowly move toward the floor without bending forward (movement should be straight up and down)
  3. Keep your shoulders back, stomach in
  4. Touch or hold the towel bar lightly for balance, if needed
  5. Start with 10 pliés and add more when you’re ready, adding 2 minutes or more of exercise to your day

Commit to Fitness

Changing old behaviors takes time, commitment, and a willingness to try new things. Adopting these multitasking moves is an easy way to add short bouts of activity to your day without adding to your busy schedule. Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure these exercises are safe for you, and then get moving!

Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2009)