Every morning we all go through hopefully the same routine, we wake up, eat a healthy natural nourishing breakfast, floss, brush our teeth and finish getting ready for the day. More than likely most of us just stand there while brushing our teeth and are board out of our minds or are in to much of a hurry to get a good brushing in. I have a sonic care toothbrush, which I think is amazing, that has different settings for different lengths of time. The general setting is broken up to four 30 second brushing intervals so I am preoccupied for 2 minutes on any given morning. Instead of just standing there and staring at myself in the mirror, I usually do 1 to 2 of the following exercises to help my body and prepare for the day. The 3 exercises I would recommend performing when you are brushing your teeth are a deep squat, standing single leg with your eyes closed and rolling your arches.
Practicing your deep squat is a great way to stretch out your tight hips, low back and try to increase your flexibility. We all should be able to deep squat no problem with ease, we have been able to do this since we were toddlers. However in today’s society in which we all sit for a majority of our day, it has made the deep squat nearly impossible and uncomfortable to perform. Lots of sitting tightens the hip flexors, turns off the butt and because of which makes the low back usually tight, stiff and immobile. The goal of the deep squat would be to go as low as you can comfortably and hold for 30 to 60 seconds while brushing your teeth. In a good deep squat your thighs should be able to go past parallel and you should be able push your knees out with your elbows with your heels flat on the ground. Try to go as low as you can and hold for as long as you can and do not be afraid if your toes point out slightly.
The single leg standing with your eyes closed makes for a very fun and entertaining teeth brushing day. You will be amazed on how hard this is with your eyes open let alone with them closed. I would recommend trying this several times with your eyes open before venturing into the eyes closed version. Our bodies rely heavily on our visual awareness for balance and once you shut that down, balance becomes extremely difficult, especially while brushing your teeth. I generally try to hold for 30 seconds on one leg and then switch back and forth. Try to focus on your standing leg and engaging your glute while being aware of your foot rolling around.
Rolling your arches is a fantastic way to stimulate your feet early in the morning. I believe our feet have become stale, inactive and sedentary which is to bad because there are way to many nerve endings in our feet. Our feet are designed to feel, they need to feel pressure, roughness, wet, hard. They need to conform to different textures, terrain and temperatures. Our feet get shoved into shoes all day long and unfortunately miss out on all the greatness the world has to offer. Rolling your arches is a great way to wake up those nerve endings, roll your arches and give your feet a mini massage. The recommend device to use is a tennis ball because it is much softer and easier on your feet. I however, like a little more pressure and direct stimulation so I prefer a golf ball. Whatever you choose to use, just roll your foot around on top of it making sure to get your arch, your heel and the pad below your toes. It should feel pretty good and you might run into a couple of hot spots that could be fairly sensitive and will need some extra attention.
These are some very useful and helpful ways to challenge your body while doing two things at once. Each one is equally important and for starters I would recommend trying one exercise each day until you get the hang of them. The deep squat and single leg standing will take some time to practice to master but you will definitely feel the difference right away rolling your feet out. A great way to add some spice to your somewhat normal routine.
“You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.” Tom Hopkins