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Hate Housework? It May Be Keeping You Fit

May. 13, 2014|602 views
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Everyone knows we’re supposed to get plenty of exercise. For most of us, that means working the muscles hard and breaking a sweat. Remember “no pain, no gain”? But older people who don’t feel capable of doing that kind of high-intensity workout can still benefit from lighter activities, such as pushing a vacuum cleaner around, or even pushing a shopping cart. Even the simplest of tasks can help maintain health and fitness. No pain required, thank you. The key is to get up and move a little, even if it’s something as mundane as doing housework. 

I don’t know many women—or men, for that matter—who enjoy doing housework. But it’s something to think about the next time you consider skipping the dust-bunny collection duties at home. Just getting up and moving around the home can help keep you moving over the long term. Specifically, say researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, engaging in these sorts of activities can help prevent arthritis that might otherwise cause disability.

We tend to think of osteoarthritis as an inevitable consequence of aging. It’s often attributed to “wear and tear.” But it’s a myth that people with arthritis need to avoid doing activities that cause discomfort. Not only does activity not contribute to the progression of arthritis, exercise actually helps slow or reverse the disease. It’s counter-intuitive, but there it is: Arthritis may be about wear and tear to the joints, but asking more of your joints helps keep them healthy. 

What motivates you to get up and clean? Share your tips by commenting below!

D. D. Dunlop, J. Song, P. A. Semanik, L. Sharma, J. M. Bathon, C. B. Eaton, M. C. Hochberg, R. D. Jackson, C. K. Kwoh, W. J. Mysiw, M. C. Nevitt, R. W. Chang. Relation of physical activity time to incident disability in community dwelling adults with or at risk of knee arthritis: prospective cohort study. BMJ, 2014; 348 (apr28 6): g2472 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g2472

Tags:  workouts, cancer risks, body image