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7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

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7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

Not everyone enjoys household chores — that’s a given. But what if you knew that there were more benefits to them than just making your home look more presentable? Once you realize how these simple tasks can boost your happiness, lower your stress, or protect your body from diseases, your to-do list will never look the same again.

1. Making the Bed

Studies have shown that those who make their beds each morning take on the day with increased productivity and a greater sense of well-being. Most people feel a small sense of accomplishment when they make their bed each day, and are then encouraged to keep up the trend by completing task after task.

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Those who make their bed will also tend to feel more rested and energized throughout the day, rather than tired or groggy. Leaving the bed a rumpled mess can add unnecessary stress to your day.

2. Tidying up Your Yard

Here’s some motivation to get your yard in order: those individuals who do the most yard work, DIY projects, and housecleaning have about a 30 percent lower risk of suffering a first-time heart attack or stroke, as compared to those who are more sedentary. Plus, there is a chemical released in freshly cut grass that makes people feel more joyful and relaxed.

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As you spend time outside sweating (and re-hydrating!) your body is flushing out all of the toxins that it has collected. Often times, those who spend a lot of time sweating outside will feel a second wind of energy after they’ve cooled off.

3. Washing Dishes

Cleaning your plate mindfully has the ability to lower nervousness levels by almost 30 percent. By doing this, the individual is focused on the smell of the soap, the temperature of the water, and the touch of the dishes.

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Those who do not take the time to wash dishes by hand don’t experience this calming benefit. Washing dishes doesn’t take a lot of concentration, so the mind is free to just wander while the hands are busy. This is also a great time to practice breathing exercises.

4. Cleaning the Bathroom

The benefits of cleaning a bathroom extend beyond your own body and the motions of cleaning. A bathroom is the ideal place for harmful bacteria to grow. When you clean it regularly, you are reducing the chance of disease; disabling it from spreading from places like the toilet to your toothbrush. Regular cleaning will also prevent mold from growing, which if not taken care of right away will become more difficult to control later on.

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5. Growing Flowers and Vegetables

Taking part in activities in nature can help to reduce the symptoms of depression. A Norwegian study took a group of individuals who had been diagnosed with different forms of depression and instructed them to spend about six hours each week gardening. At the end of a few months, these individuals noticed a notable improvement in the symptoms of their depression, and it continued for a few months after the study ended.

An added bonus: healthy vegetables from your own garden!

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6. Getting Rid of Kitchen Clutter

A recent study has shown that people with an extremely cluttered home were about 77 percent more likely to be overweight, if not obese. This is because it is more difficult to make healthy eating choices in a cluttered kitchen. Once a kitchen becomes organized, a person may begin to see benefits like weight loss without the need to diet. Also, getting rid of the clutter is the best time to trash any foods that are super unhealthy. Out of sight, out of mind!

7. Vacuuming

30 minutes of vacuuming can have the same benefits as 15 minutes of kickboxing. Aim to vacuum the whole house in one shot, as opposed to tackling each room individually. The motion associated with vacuuming will work out not only your arms, but your core and legs as well because of the pushing and pulling movements.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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