Sit around All Day? Calf Exercises Can Reduce Your Snoring

Oct 29, 2014, by Dr. Becky Coats

One of the advantages of being a dentist is that it’s a pretty active job. It may not seem like it, but you’re not sitting at a desk all day. Instead, you’re walking around and standing much of the day, which exercises the body, not to mention the workout the brain gets solving complex dental problems.

Many people aren’t so lucky, and they spend 8 hours a day at work sitting around, which can contribute to snoring. Researchers have shown, though, that calf exercises can actually cut down on snoring due to spending prolonged periods sitting.

Calf Exercises Reduce Snoring

We know it seems counterintuitive that exercising your calves could have anything to do with snoring, but hear this out. The problem is that when you’re sitting around all day, fluid tends to accumulate in your legs. Then when you lie down at night, the fluid redistributes, and some of it goes to your neck, where it increases the weight of tissues pushing down on your airway. This causes the airway to narrow, causing snoring, or close, causing sleep apnea.

Since calf exercises have been shown to reduce fluid accumulation in the legs, researchers speculated that they might also reduce snoring. So they had test subjects perform calf exercises similar to pressing down on a gas pedal. After doing the exercises, subjects had less fluid and they snored less.

Caveats to the Study

Although this is pretty exciting, let’s do a reality check on the science–as we should always do when we read about these kinds of studies. The biggest problem with this study is its size. It’s tiny. Just 8 snoring subjects and 8 controls. And so far the results aren’t published. They were just presented at a conference, which means other snoring experts haven’t had a chance to look at the data and critique it yet.

Ant it’s important to note that the people in the study were healthy snorers–none of them had sleep apnea.

But this isn’t the first study to look at this connection, and it agrees with previous conclusions.

When people with venous insufficiency wore compression stockings during the day, they experienced a 36% reduction in sleep apnea due to a decrease in fluid accumulation in the legs.

Putting these studies together serves as a good reminder that snoring and sleep apnea are complex conditions that often benefit from a variety of treatments. Adding more exercise to your daily routine is a good place to start for a snoring treatment, although most people need more to get full relief.

If you are looking for successful snoring treatment in Dallas, please call (817) 481-6888 for an appointment at Grapevine Dental Care today.