Daily Activities Are a Workout!

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Story Updated: Oct 30, 2013

If hitting the gym is not your idea of fun, here's some news that may have you jumping for joy New research suggests housework and gardening count towards your daily dose of healthy exercise and can cut your risk of heart attack and stroke. Researchers followed almost 4,000 people in Sweden for more than a decade tracking their cardiovascular health -- through lab tests and exams -- and their daily activities, including gardening, home repairs, car maintenance and more. At the start of the study, people who had active lives, as well as those who participated in a lot of formal exercise, had lower risk profiles for cardiovascular problems. In other words, their odds of developing cardiac trouble were lower.

During the 12 and a half years of follow-up, 476 people had their first cardiovascular event, and 383 died from various causes.

The most active people had a 27% lower risk of a first cardiovascular event compared to the sedentary group. and a 30% reduced risk of death from various causes. And it didn't matter whether their activity was routine or formal.

So whether it's cleaning the house, fixing the car or making headway on some other everyday task. it may be time to think of those chores as a prescription for heart health.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with health information for healthier living.