Diets and gym sessions are just one part of maintaining our health. Complete wellbeing is about a lifestyle change, so everyday activities can play an equally important part. You’d be surprised how household chores can be beneficial for your health. It’s not an activity we are dying to perform, but going to the gym or sticking to a strict diet requires the same if not greater motivation. When you put some of the everyday chores and hobbies together, your health will certainly experience one incredible boost. So let’s check out these simple tasks that will keep us in shape, lower our stress levels, and increase our happiness.
Starting with a Sense of Accomplishment
Although it seems insignificant, making our beds in the morning provides us with a small sense of accomplishment. If we start the day feeling this way, we’re encouraged to keep it up so our productivity increases. This small habit will make us feel energized and rested throughout the day instead of groggy and tired, leading to a greater sense of wellbeing. On the other hand, leaving a crumpled mess and being aware it’s there, adds unnecessary stress from early in the morning.
Be In Tune with Nature
Gardening is probably the healthiest leisure activity out there. Besides the tangible bounty of home-grown fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs on the table, it boosts our health in several ways. Yard work lowers the risk of a first-time stroke or heart attack by 30%. While we’re sweating outside, we’re flushing out all of the toxins our body has collected. At the same time, the smells and sights of the garden are promoting relaxation, helping us fight stress and depression. It’s proven that chemicals released from freshly-cut grass stimulate our minds, making us feel more relaxed and joyful. So it pays off to keep our lawns healthy and green, free of compacted soil and weeds. If all that is not enough, some studies also suggest that gardening lowers the risk of dementia.
Out of the Head and Into the Heart
Arts and crafts are not just a fun pastime. For all those out there thinking that knitting is reserved for grannies, you should know that this repetitive activity is a great stress and anxiety reliever. At the same time, as surveys discovered, knitting also increases cognitive function. Other crafty projects such as painting, coloring, or drawing go a step further when concerning mental health. While allowing you to get out of your head for a while, this form of art therapy is a natural cure for depression as a way to express feelings in a non-verbal way. This is especially helpful in the case of troubled teenagers where it can provide healing benefits and focus their minds during this emotionally turbulent period.
Calming Through Senses
Instead of letting the dishes pile up, washing them mindfully will lower the levels of nervousness up to 30%. The key behind this calming effect is focusing on the senses – the feel of dishes, the temperature of the water, and the smell of soap. Your hands are busy, but the very process requires very little concentration so your mind can wander freely. A dishwasher may save time, but the calming effect of washing by hand shouldn’t be called a waste.
I’ll be There For You
Your furry friends will surely provide you with a fair amount of exercise, but this is not where the benefits of having a pet end. While walking your pets you perform a perfectly good form of physical exercise, decreasing triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, simply caring for them will reduce the feeling of loneliness. All of our pets are not just faithful companions through life, but they come with amazing mood-enhancing abilities.
Keeping Your Weight in Check
A meal prepared in a restaurant often contains a lot of oil, butter, and salt, so it comes as no wonder that people eating at home consume around 130 calories less than those eating out. Not to mention that having a home-cooked meal is always healthier. But the very act of cooking is the best way to keep obesity in check. Especially if you have kids who will learn how to prepare fresh meals with healthy ingredients before they familiarize themselves with fast-food chains.
To make this fully work, you also need to get rid of the kitchen clutter. If the kitchen is a mess it is really hard to make healthy eating choices. A pile of dirty dishes simply screams takeout. Biscuits or snacks on the counter simply beg for an immediate grab. Studies have shown that people with extremely cluttered kitchens are 77% more prone to being obese, or at the very least overweight.
Your Private Gym
Those who think the only way to exercise is through the gym should know that the physical benefit of vacuuming for 30 minutes is the same as kickboxing for 15. The motions of pushing and pulling associated with this chore will work your arms, legs, and core at the same time. If you vacuum the whole house in one take, you would have more than a decent exercise.
Cleaning the bathroom goes beyond the physical exercise. Yes, you’ll sweat out while scrubbing, but you’ll also greatly reduce the chance of disease. A bathroom is like a heaven for growing bacteria, so people who don’t clean it regularly risk that bacteria spreading from toilet to toothbrush. Not to mention the mold that can easily grow out of control if left unchecked. Using lemon-scented cleaning products might bring additional benefits regarding your mood. One Japanese study found that inhaling a citrusy scent for only ten minutes can decrease mood disturbances, tension, anxiety, depression, confusion, and fatigue.
There are also less demanding chores that can provide the right amount of workout for senior members of the family too. Let them wash the car or do the laundry. Soaping the car, scrubbing the tires, dragging the hose, collecting dirty clothes, changing the sheets, carrying wet towels – all those activities amount to a sufficient physical workout that won’t be too taxing on the individual.
As you can see, everyday activities can do wonders for both physical and mental health. They’ll make you start your day energized and productive, boost your mood, alleviate stress, allow you to express your feelings, curb obesity, and provide more than a decent workout. The key factor to your success will be to maintain your commitment to these activities and once you do, you’ll see that it will become like second nature.
Sofia is a passionate writer from Sydney. She also enjoys decorating houses and engaging in home renovation projects. That is why she loves sharing her experience and advice with other people through her writing. Besides this, she loves technology and gadgets which can help us get through a busy workday.