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3 things for better health

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. It might be time to rethink low-carb diets. Time Magazine reported new research suggests low-carb diets may not be the best way to achieve long-term health.

Research presented Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Germany found diets very low in carbohydrates may raise individuals' risks of premature death over time, Time reported.

"The new study—which has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal—used diet and health data from almost 25,000 people collected through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2010," Time reported. "The researchers found that over an average of 6.4 years of follow-up, people who consumed the lowest amount of carbohydrates had a 32 percent higher risk of total mortality, a roughly 50 percent higher risk of dying from vascular diseases and a 36 percent higher risk of dying from cancer, compared to people who ate the most carbs."

2. Working too many hours may really be able to kill you. WebMD reported a study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine shows that consistently surpassing this standard 40-hour work week can be detrimental to your health.

"Researchers said they found that working 61 to 70 hours a week increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 42 percent, and working 71 to 80 hours increased it by 63 percent. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, with more than half a million deaths each year in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Another study pointed to employees working long hours having a higher risk of stroke than those working a standard work week. "Even more shocking is that putting in these extra hours may not even lead to increased productivity because long work spans can actually decrease your efficiency."

"Working fewer hours will give you more free time in the short term and could decrease your risk of heart disease to give you a higher quality of life in the long term, according to the researchers," WebMD reported.

3. Five of the best exercises anyone can do, from Harvard Medical School may include a surprise or two. "Some of the best physical activities for your body don't require the gym or that you get fit enough to run a marathon. These 'workouts' can do wonders for your health. They'll help keep your weight under control, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, and even ward off memory loss," Harvard Medical School reported. The five exercises are swimming, tai chi, strength training using even light weights to keep muscle strength, walking—simple but powerful for fitness—from strengthening bones to lowering blood pressure, and Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles can benefit both sexes and help prevent incontinence.

"As long as you're doing some form of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, and you include two days of strength training a week, you can consider yourself an 'active' person."

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 keywords "Monday Motivator."

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

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