Connect with us

Home Care

Fresh ideas for home upgrades

Spring means it’s time to start sprucing up your home and garden with a little TLC inside and out.

Published

on

Photo by Daiga Ellaby from Unsplash.com

Spring means it’s time to start sprucing up your home and garden with a little TLC inside and out.

If you’re unsure where to begin, consider these tips:

Make function a priority.

While aesthetic changes may boost value and please the eye, be sure to consider upgrades that make living easier, like organization units that give you more space or upgrades that create additional living space.

Keep budget in mind.

Make a list of the projects you’d like to complete and estimate how much each will cost. Use the list to determine what you can afford to complete now.

Do your research.

If you’ll be making a significant purchase such as a new vacuum or grill, be sure to explore your options, read reviews and shop around for the best prices for greater confidence in what you choose.

Set yourself up for a more enjoyable spring with more home and garden tips at eLivingtoday.com.

Zest Magazine accepts contributions promoting everything about living the good life (and how to make this so). C'mon, give us a yell.

Home Care

Spending time on household chores may improve brain health

Engaging in household chores may be beneficial for brain health in older adults. In a recent Baycrest study, older adults who spent more time on household chores showed greater brain size, which is a strong predictor of cognitive health.

Published

on

Photo by @deconovo from Unsplash.com

Engaging in household chores may be beneficial for brain health in older adults. In a recent Baycrest study, older adults who spent more time on household chores showed greater brain size, which is a strong predictor of cognitive health.

“Scientists already know that exercise has a positive impact on the brain, but our study is the first to show that the same may be true for household chores,” says Noah Koblinsky, lead author of the study, Exercise Physiologist and Project Coordinator at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI). “Understanding how different forms of physical activity contribute to brain health is crucial for developing strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.”

In this study, published in the journal BMC Geriatrics, the researchers looked at the links between household chores, brain volume and cognition in a group of 66 cognitively healthy older adults living in the community. The participants attended three assessment visits at Baycrest Hospital, including a health evaluation, structural brain imaging and cognitive assessment.

Participants were asked about the time they spent on household chores, such as tidying, dusting, meal preparation and clean up, shopping, heavy housework, yard work, home repairs and caregiving.

The researchers found that older adults who spent more time engaging in such activities had greater brain volume, regardless of how much exercise they did. This was observed in the hippocampus, which plays a major role in memory and learning, and the frontal lobe, which is involved in many aspects of cognition.

Although it is possible that individuals with larger brains are more likely to take up household chores, there could be several explanations for the brain benefits of household physical activity.

First, we know that heart health is closely tied to brain health. It could be that household chores have a similar effect on the heart and blood vessels as low-intensity aerobic exercise.

Second, the planning and organization involved in household chores may promote the formation of new neural connections over time, even as we age.

Third, it could be that the older adults who engaged in more household chores spent less time being sedentary, which has been shown to be associated with negative health outcomes, including poor brain health.

“Besides helping to guide physical activity recommendations for older adults, these findings may also motivate them to be more active, since household chores are a natural and often necessary aspect of many people’s daily lives, and therefore appear more attainable,” says Dr. Nicole Anderson, Senior Scientist at the RRI, Director of the Ben and Hilda Katz Interprofessional Research Program in Geriatric and Dementia Care, and senior author of this study.

This study was funded in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

As a next step, the researchers would like to assess household physical activity more objectively using wearable technology. With additional funding, they could also plan controlled trials with the aim of increasing individuals’ household activity and studying brain changes over time.

Continue Reading

Home Care

When to update home and garden goods

As you tackle spring cleaning this year, take stock of your common home and garden equipment to determine what may need updating.

Published

on

Photo by Tom Byrom from Unsplash.com

Investing in quality products, properly maintaining and storing them all have an impact on how long they’ll stay in good working condition.

As you tackle spring cleaning this year, take stock of your common home and garden equipment to determine what may need updating.

Lawn Mower: If your mower needs a repair that exceeds its value, it’s time for a replacement. However, there may be other signs that an upgrade is warranted. Rough operation, frequent breakdowns or other indications of faulty performance deserve a second look. Before you buy new, remember to check your warranty to determine whether repairs might be covered.

Vacuum: Many homeowners discard their used vacuum when it stops picking up dirt and debris as efficiently as it did originally. Before you move on, be sure to check that performance issues aren’t the result of clogged hoses or a filter than needs cleaning or replacing. A belt may also be worn or need adjusting. Other signs it may be time to replace the vacuum include damaged or frayed cords, motor issues like overheating or making strange noises.

Grill: A grill may last anywhere from 5-15 years, depending on the quality of the materials and how it is maintained. However, it’s common to have to replace parts along the way. Signs you may need a new grill include a firebox (the main enclosure) with cracks, rust or holes and burners that distribute heat unevenly. Damaged grates can affect even grilling if they’re warped or if they’re flaky or rusted, they can contaminate food. If you’re not able to replace the grates, or any other essential part, including hoses and connectors for a gas grill, you’ll be better off replacing the unit.

Continue Reading

Home Care

9 Tips to spring clean your home inside and out

Spring cleaning isn’t just about purging dirt and grime. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take inventory of items around your home.

Published

on

Photo by Jennifer Burk from Unsplash.com

Spring cleaning isn’t just about purging dirt and grime. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take inventory of items around your home. As you tackle this season’s cleaning, look for ways to improve your overall living space, from getting rid of things you no longer need to adding items that can work harder for you.

Spring cleaning isn’t just about purging dirt and grime. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take inventory of items around your home. As you tackle this season’s cleaning, look for ways to improve your overall living space, from getting rid of things you no longer need to adding items that can work harder for you.

Consider these nine ways to tackle your home inside and out this spring.

1. Make organizing easier

As you clean each space, look for easy ways to reduce unsightly messes and improve organization. If your entryway always becomes a jumbled pile of shoes and coats, consider adding a storage bench and hooks to bring some order to the area. If the kids’ toys always accumulate in the living room, add a storage chest or large baskets to store them when not in use. If tools and equipment make the garage unusable, install shelving units to keep everything in place.

2. Eliminate the excess

Spring cleaning is also an opportunity to declutter and make way for something new, either by donating or selling unused things. Whether it’s last season’s fashion and accessories or unused tech and fitness gear, that item you never used – or haven’t used in a while – may be exactly what someone else is looking for. Online platforms can make the process easy and be a way to earn extra cash or help fund other home upgrades. Look for marketplaces that help you maximize your return; eBay, for example, is giving sellers 200 free listings every month, meaning you only pay after your items sell.

3. Reimagine your living space

If one area is becoming too crowded or doesn’t serve your family’s needs, consider items you can repurpose for another part of the home. For example, move an unused chair in your living room into a bedroom to create a reading nook. Keep your focus on function as you make changes that accommodate your lifestyle.

4. Make smart additions

Once you’ve cleared your space, and sold things you no longer need, you can convert that extra cash into reliable home appliances and tech. For example, purchase or upgrade items like vacuums, lawn mowers, power washers, drills and more to help take your spring cleaning to the next level. You can make your money go further by choosing certified refurbished products; some marketplaces like eBay offer inventory that has been professionally inspected by the manufacturer, or a manufacturer-approved vendor, to look, feel and work like new.

5. Commit to revisiting regularly

It’s easy to let clutter and disorganization slide when you get busy with life’s demands. Once your spring cleaning and reorganizing is complete, commit to reassessing your home on a monthly or quarterly basis so you can make small adjustments along the way, rather than face a major project every year.

6. Shop Smarter

Considering refurbished products for your shopping list can expand your options and make it easier to purchase top-of-the-line brands without going over budget. From tech and small kitchen appliances to outdoor power equipment, you can discover a breadth of items often in like-new condition.

7. Shop for Multi-Purpose Items 

When upgrading your arsenal of gadgets, tools and small appliances, look for items that can serve multiple purposes. For example, many vacuums can transform into steamers or include mop attachments and some pressure cookers can also be used as air fryers.

8. Feel Confident in Your Purchase

Sometimes upgrading means investing in a premium product you can count on to last longer than entry-level models. With eBay’s Certified Refurbished program, you can find popular, professionally inspected name brands at up to 50% off, all of which are backed by industry-leading two-year warranties for peace of mind.

9. Keep Sustainability in Mind 

Keeping functionality in mind and buying like-new items not only saves you money now and in the future but can also help protect the planet by extending the life of products and reducing unnecessary waste.

Learn more about buying refurbished at eBay.com/CertifiedRefurbishedHub.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.