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3 things for better health - Oct. 8

Combined with a half hour of exercises each week, Matter of Balance attendees are able to increase strength and flexibility while improving overall balance. Photo illustration1 / 4
Matter of Balance is an evidenced-based program that encourages attendees to look at their surroundings and their daily habits to create for themselves a safer environment to avoid falls. Photo illustration2 / 4
Matter of Balance is an evidenced-based program that encourages attendees to look at their surroundings and their daily habits to create for themselves a safer environment to avoid falls. Photo illustration 3 / 4
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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. Apple cider vinegar. WebMD notes there doesn't seem to be anything special about its health benefits, compared with other types of vinegar, but its milder flavor and smell may have helped its reputation.

"In one study, overweight people who drank 1 or 2 ounces of vinegar (diluted with other liquid) lost weight at a slightly faster rate. And they lost belly fat," WebMD reported. "But there's no evidence that lots of vinegar will help you drop lots of pounds, or do it quickly."

Vinegar has its uses. It can help someone with diabetes control the amount of glucose in their blood after a meal as well as their A1c, a measure of "average" blood sugar for the past few months. A couple of teaspoons in water or food at mealtime works best, WebMD stated. Vinegar can also help keep insulin levels lower after eating.

Any vinegar will kill some germs because of the acetic acid in it. WebMD stated "it works best in your food—to clean up bacteria lingering on your salad leaves, for example."

2. Strong muscles are important for healthy bodies, Harvard Health states. Warm up and use proper form when lifting weights. There are lots of options from taking a class, getting advice at a gym or using an online service or the internet to see the proper form. Don't lock joints and keep a slight bend in the knee.

"Breathe out when you are lifting or pushing; breathe in as you slowly release the load or weight. Never hold your breath while straining. This action, called the Valsalva maneuver, can temporarily raise your blood pressure considerably and can be risky for people with cardiovascular disease," Harvard Health noted.

3. Take up an October challenge as motivation to get moving this month. Check out the Apple Watch or Fit Girls or any number of online challenges. Or set up your own on the calendar. Perhaps it means doing cardio three days a week and then adding a list of exercises for three days like 20 squats, 20 leg lifts, 20 lunges, a plank for 30 seconds, adding time on until it's eventually a minute in duration. There are tons of options out there. Find one that fits and go for it.

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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