2013-11-13 6478987

That ‘honey do list’ is about to get longer. Much longer.

In a study of more than 4,000 people 60 years and older, findings showed that gardening and do-it-yourself projects can cut the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to 30%.

Before the study commenced, researchers evaluated each participant concerning their lifestyle – smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and physical activity. Participants were also asked how often they had formally exercised in the last 12 months and about other daily activities – car maintenance, gardening and DIY projects around the house.

The study showed that when people engaged in either regular exercise or led active daily lives, they had a much lower risk for cardiovascular problems than the people who were less active.

It seems that routine activities are just as beneficial as exercise, making them ideal for older people who are not always as motivated to hit the gym.

The study followed the participants for more than 12 years and also monitored their cholesterol, blood glucose and insulin, along with other vitals.

Researchers concluded that the health benefits from being active had more to do with how much energy was expended rather than the actual activity. No matter what the participants were doing, their physical activity increased their metabolic rate. Prolonged sitting drove it down. Being inactive for long periods was found to disrupt how the body produces hormones, adversely affecting internal organs and other tissues.

So word to the wise, get right to that list of chores. Even add a few more tasks. Besides having the best yard on the block, you might outlive all of your neighbors.

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