Most of us put off having to do household chores – but besides the fact that they need to be done, it can be great for your brain!
A new study shows that older adults who spent more time on household chores showed greater brain size, which is a strong predictor of cognitive health.
Scientists have known for a while that physical exercise has a positive impact on our brains, but they looked at those participating in the study who also did chores around the house – they considered the time spent on chores like tidying, dusting, meal prep, shopping, yard work, and home repair. Older adults who spent more time doing those activities had greater brain volume, regardless of how much exercise they did.
There are a few reasons why this might be the case:
Since heart health is closely tied to brain health, these household chores could have a similar effect a low-intensity exercise.
Also, planning out your chores and how to complete them effectively may be promoting new neural connections over time.
Finally, older adults doing chores forced them to be less sedentary, which counteracts negative health outcomes, including poor brain health.
So, if you’ve been putting off all those chores around the house, it may be time to do them – and to reap the benefits!
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