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Household chores may prevent dementia

Everyday chores such as emptying the dishwasher, mowing the lawn and doing laundry may help keep dementia away, according to new research published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

U.S. News and World Report states that researchers have found that seniors who expended the most energy doing regular tasks throughout the day such as chores, running errands and taking care of loved ones were less likely to experience cognitive decline as they aged.

AARP reported in January that muscle tone in women improved their mental focus, and previous research has shown that physical fitness may prevent the onset of dementia. However, these seemingly mundane activities are not often counted as fitness.

"All those things that you would never think of as exercise, they get out heart rate up and make our blood vessels pump blood," study co-author Todd Manini, assistant professor of aging and geriatric research at the University of Florida, Gainsville, told the news source.

While past studies have shown that activities such as jogging decreases dementia risk, the study suggests that other activities may also "count for health benefits," Manini said.