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3 things for better health - Jan. 1

Need to be motivated to start the week off on a healthy note? Just try one or more of three things to start the week off on the right path.

1. A new year is a perfect opportunity to take a fresh look at goals, at the past year and what you want for yourself in the new year. It's a perfect moment to make a change, clean the slate and start anew.

Of new year resolutions, health is often the top focus. Too often, those goals fail by February. So this year could be the one to make a change for better health that lasts. How is that possible? Pick a goal that is attainable. Maybe losing 100 pounds is too daunting. Maybe creating a life/work balance is too broad. Instead create a weekly or daily or even hourly goal that you can build on for success.

Maybe it's getting up and moving for a few minutes each hour seated at a desk. Maybe it's going to bed a half hour earlier to start to get a better rest. Maybe it's a goal to read a few pages each night instead of spending time on electronics. Maybe it's a goal to be more fit by adding a workout to the daily routine. Maybe it's using a tool like My Fitness Pal to track eating and activity each day and the success of seeing a couple of pounds lost each week is enough to fuel long-term success.

There are a multitude of goals and ways to get there. So start small and build on that goal for better health this year and it's more likely that you'll be still making progress yet this winter instead of setting yourself up for a New Year's resolution that burns out before spring.

A lot of healthy habits are surprisingly simple and even small changes can reap big results:

2. Replace one soda drink with water a day. The Mayo Clinic says doing this can cut out calories and lower the risk of a heart attack. Remember losing just 3-5 percent of your body weight has major health benefits.

3. Keep the cereal boxes out of sight and keep the kitchen counters clear except for fresh fruit. The Mayo Clinic notes having cereal boxes in plain sight was linked to higher body mass index.

For more tips from the weekly Three Things list, check out the Monday Motivator page each week in the Dispatch or e-edition, or go to www.brainerddispatch.com and go to lifestyle to reach the drop-down menu for health or search using the keyword Monday Motivator or three things.

Questions or tips to share, contact Renee Richardson, managing editor, at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5852.

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