As we age and hit a certain point on the socioeconomic scale, it’s not unusual to
begin hiring people to complete some of those boring daily chores that we no longer
want to do. This can mean hiring people to do yard work, landscape maintenance,
home cleaning and laundry.
But more and more studies are finding that getting some form of physical activity
every day is an important part of your overall health. And what better way to do that
than to do your own chores?
A study posted by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a prolonged amount of
time spent inactive and sitting increased health problems even in those individuals
who went to the gym and were physically active a few times each week. Some
studies, such as those completed by Wayne State University School of Medicine,
found that a generally sedentary lifestyle in rats led to physical brain changes that
could eventually lead to an overstimulated nervous system.
The Truth about Chores
So what difference can a few chores make? Turns out, a lot. Chores that prevent you
from sitting, such as weeding the garden, raking, mowing the lawn, doing laundry,
washing dishes and cleaning the floor, all help reduce the amount of hours you
spend sedentary. In addition, these activities help you burn calories while helping
prevent fluid buildup in your legs, swelling and even sleep apnea. They also help
reduce deterioration in your brain and can lower your risk of blood clots.
Once you enter retirement, it’s easy to live a mostly sedentary life punctuated by the
occasional walk or trips to the gym. But as the studies cited above note, getting
exercise just two or three times a week may not be enough to keep you in optimal
health. Instead, consider taking back at least some of your chores, as long as your
doctor agrees. Not only can this save your health but it can save you money too!