- AARP - http://blog.aarp.org -
Want to Live Longer? Mowing the Lawn Helps
Posted By Candy Sagon On November 1, 2013 @ 7:30 am In Bulletin Today,Personal Health | Comments Disabled
Not a big fan of exercising  at the gym or in a class? No problem! You can get similar health benefits from gardening, mowing the lawn or housework, says a new study of nearly 4,000 60-year-olds.
Researchers in Sweden wanted to see if older adults who didn’t do typical exercise but who led physically active lives doing other things would reap similar health benefits. They followed healthy 60-year-olds, who were from Stockholm, for about 12 years.
In a study  published Oct. 28 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the scientists found that gardeners and those who busied themselves with daily activities like fix-it projects and picking mushrooms and berries (this is Sweden, after all), cut their risk of heart attack and stroke by 27 percent and prolonged their life by about 30 percent.
Those who were the most active on a daily basis, even if they didn’t do traditional exercise, also had smaller waists, plus lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose levels, compared to those who moved around the least.
(Don’t worry if you don’t like gardening or fixing things; those in the study who exercised regularly, but who didn’t do much around the house on a daily basis, were also at a lower risk.)
The study doesn’t prove that being active will prevent a heart attack, but it does suggest that if you’re healthy to begin with and remain active, it could add years to your life. The findings are important for older adults, the scientists wrote, because seniors often spend their days doing routine activities, but not necessarily doing strenuous exercise.
U.S. health guidelines recommend  at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes five days a week. The worst thing you can do for your health is to be sedentary, with mounting evidence that sitting for hours on end  raises your risk for any number of diseases and an earlier death.
Photo: Tony Fisher/Flickr 
Also of Interest
See the AARP home page  for deals, savings tips, trivia and more
Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/11/01/to-live-longer-try-gardening-housework-hobbies/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/gardening.jpg
 exercising: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/13/the-best-all-around-exercise-for-every-post-50-body/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter: http://www.aarp.org/online-community/people/subscribeFromEmail.action?id=19061&intcmp=ILC-EMAIL-SUB-HLTH
 In a study: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2013/10/08/bjsports-2012-092038.abstract
 >> Get discounts on health products and services with your AARP Member Advantages.: http://discounts.aarp.org/savings/discounts/health-andamp;-wellness/uSource/HCTN/categoryId/724/subCategoryId/726?intcmp=AE-BL-HEA-DISC
 guidelines recommend: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html
 sitting for hours on end: http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-03-2011/sitting-too-much-health-hazard.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 Tony Fisher/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/3495664861/
 Image: http://healthlawanswers.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-EDO-LNK-HLAW-ENDART-BL-20131011
 Help for Aging Skin: 3 Things You’re Doing Wrong: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/10/30/help-for-aging-skin-3-things-youre-doing-wrong/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Slideshow: Famous Child Stars — Where Are They Now?: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/television/info-08-2013/famous-child-stars-where-are-they-now-photos#slide1?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
 Shopping for health insurance? The health insurance marketplace is now open: http://healthcare.gov/?intcmp=AE-BL-ENDART3-ADV-HCGOV
 Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?keycode=U9ZTPH9&intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM
 AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP
Copyright © 2013 AARP. All rights reserved.