I also thought about calling this article "is the vacuum sucking out your life force?"
Do you look after your parents or grandparents? Nip around and do some cooking or cleaning for them, maybe even some gardening?
That's great because I know you want to help your family or a loved one that possibly needs some help - but is it the best thing for them that you are doing all of the work?
The volume of Grey Matter is a measure of cognitive function - how well your brain works - and it is a commonly held belief that as we age this volume of grey matter reduces naturally.
This may not be the case!
Diseases that are commonly associated with degenerated grey matter are Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease.
This study (1) looked at the brains of 262 older adults and found that those with higher Non Exercise Activity Thermogensis, or NEAT for short(2), activity levels in this sample retained more Grey matter and therefore were reducing their risk of degenerative diseases of the brain.
So, next time your parents or grandparents ask you to do some things for them (unless they are really unable!!) the best thing you can do is help them to do it but NOT do it for them.
Keep them as active as possible, go out for walks, help them with the gardening but ask them to do some other task - not only will you be helping your own activity levels and looking after your Grey Matter you will also be assisting the ones that you care about.