DO YOU DREAD DOING CHORES? Here’s a surefire procrastination buster: A report from Indiana University concludes that around-the-house activities like cleaning and gardening actually help lower blood pressure. Researchers examined 28 people, ages 42 to 63, and determined that four hours of accumulated housework and yardwork a day were enough to temporarily drop blood pressure by a category from hypertensive to prehypertensive for eight hours or from prehypertensive to normal for six hours. In the U.S., nearly one in three adults suffers from high blood pressure, which increases risk of heart decease, kidney failure and blindness.
If doing four hours of housework seems overwhelming, study leader Janet P. Wallace, Ph.D., says you may be able to improve your condition by expending 150 calories in 30 minutes of chores (see below). Your home and your heart will thank you.