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7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

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!

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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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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