Even house cleaning can help keep the brain young

Even house cleaning can help keep the brain young

It is not only hard physical exercise that can help keep the brain going. Also light everyday activities such as cleaning and tidying up have a beneficial effect on the brain. The brain naturally shrinks when you get older, but there are methods that can help slow down that process a bit.

As you get older, your brain also gets smaller. When you reach the age of 60, the volume of the brain shrinks by about 0.2 percent each year. The reduction of brain tissue is linked to dementia among other things.

However, in today’s increasingly automated world, good old-fashioned cleaning can help keep the brain going, especially when you are getting on in years. This is stated byThe Guardian in an article made on the basis of a new study.

It is healthy to stay in shape and it causes a more enjoyable old age. Few people doubt that it is good to stay active. When talking about exercise, some people think of gruelling trips to the gym or of the usual run, which oddly enough continues to feel longer and longer.

 

Hard physical exercise is still good for you

There are a lot of health benefits connected with doing strenuous activities such as strength training or cardio training, and that is not challenged by this study. Instead, the study highlights a perhaps overlooked aspect - namely that all the light activities, which you do not notice you do, also count. Even the minor activities that may only last one or two minutes at a time.

The study has investigated 2354 middle-aged subjects in the US, who have been equipped with an activity tracker and have subsequently undergone brain scanning. 

The study showed that the subjects, who did one hour of light activity each day, had 0.22 percent more brain. This corresponds to one year of brain aging. Those subjects, who on average walked more than 10,000 steps each day, had a greater brain volume of 0.35 percent than those subjects, who on average walked less than 5,000 steps each day. 0.35 percent corresponds to 1.75 years of brain aging.

 

Good news for anyone that does not exercise

There is good news for the elderly. This means that everyone should be able to do an activity that can be beneficial to the brain. Elderly people, who may have difficulty in doing hard physical activities, now have a light activity that also can be of benefit.

It may also prove to be beneficial for the people, who do not find it easy to structure their exercise in such a way that they stay motivated. These people can also do something good for their brains by simply holding a handheld vacuum cleaner instead of switching to a robotic vacuum cleaner.

However, the study does have its limitations. It cannot show a direct causal connection between being less active and having less brain volume. It can only show a numerical coincidence. It may also be that the causal connection is reverse, so that instead of saying that people, who are less active get smaller brain volumes, it may be that people with small brain volumes are less active. 

Sources

1. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/19/household-chores-keep-brai…

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