What's The Connection Between Housework And Living Longer?

There are three things I hate doing - shopping, cooking and cleaning, which makes me somewhat different from my friends. Give them a credit card or a cookery book and they are in their element, but we all agree on the cleaning issue. It's so unrewarding.

Today, however, cleaning took on a different perspective because of a news item on breakfast TV. As I was encouraging my autistic son to "hurry up", an expression he absolutely hates, my ears pricked up at the mention of Cambridge on the BBC news. Now as this city is close to where I live it felt personal, so I told my autistic son again to "hurry up" and added, "please be quiet", another expression he absolutely hates.

Still, despite the "look" over his cereal, he did stop talking, and I managed to hear that researchers in Cambridge have, after studying 20,000 people over a period of 10 years, concluded healthy living can add up to 14 years to your life. It's not rocket science, just simple common sense!

Apparently there are four areas you need to address:
· smoking,
· drinking
· exercise
· eating fruit and vegetables

All of them are obvious. We all know smoking can seriously damage your health, and in some cases, kill so this should be avoided altogether. The same can be said for drinking in excess, but the recommendations are not to stop completely, just to drink in moderation.

We've all been told about eating up our fruit and vegetables and we should have five portions each day, which should consist of the different colours – red, green, orange, yellow and purple.

Exercise, of course, is important, but the researchers didn't suggest we all had to go rushing off to the gym every week, or buy fancy fitness equipment. Instead they said any activity, which made you slightly puffed, five times each week was fine, and before your thoughts turn to the bedroom let me tell you the examples they gave were hoovering and cleaning windows. That's taken the glint out of your eye and wiped the smile off your face, hasn't it?

It seems this extensive research was based on broad definitions and had something to do with the amount of Vitamin C in the blood. Anyway, the conclusion is people who are generally active and sensible about the four areas discussed, live longer and healthier lives.

Anyway this morning, armed with this new knowledge, I attacked my housework with an unusual amount of vigour, and I have to admit did feel good when I'd finished. Mind you, that may have something to do with the fact I had my favourite music on at the time. Still, it's amazing the difference a change of perspective can make and forthwith I shall no longer consider housework a chore but a life enhancer.

I wonder what I can do about shopping and cooking?

Jean Shaw


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