Doing the dishes...
Nouns describing activities don’t normally take an article in English e.g. I go running, I play cards, I hate tennis, etc.
Why then do many domestic activities take the definite article? e.g. I do the dishes, I do the hoovering, I hate doing the housework, etc.
Can somebody explain to me the rules that govern this type of construction? Are there any other examples of this kind of usage outside of the domestic sphere?