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Healthy living: 3 things for better health

Need to be motivated on a Monday for better health, just pick from three things to start the week off on the right path.

1. Walk 5.5 miles per week. Research shows people are likely to live longer if walking at least 5.5 miles per week. "Walking this much at a slow pace of 2 miles per hour can be enough to lower your risk of things like heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure by 31 percent. People who walked farther and faster got even more benefit, in case you needed some extra motivation.

Women who walk 30 minutes a day may cut their risk of stroke by 20 percent to 40 percent.

"Just a little can do wonders to help your blood move through your body the way it should. Any time you can spend walking is good, but push yourself a little: Getting your heart rate up can strengthen it and lower your blood pressure."

If weight-loss is the goal, WebMD recommends 300 minutes of brisk walking each week.

"That may sound like a lot, but it breaks down to less than 45 minutes a day—a reasonable target if you're serious about shaping up. But if your schedule is packed, you can burn just as many calories with 20 minutes of exercise called high-intensity interval training: 20 seconds of an energetic activity, like running, followed by 1 minute of recovery (walking). This jump-starts your metabolism so your body can burn more fat."

2. Consider jogging even five to 10 minutes a day. Runner's World noted a previous report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluding running even five to 10 minutes a day at slow speeds—even a 10-minute mile pace—is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease. The study found runners who run less than an hour per week gain the same mortality benefits as those who run more than three hours per week. The study looked at individuals over 15 years. The information of the benefits of even a short time of slow running was hoped to encourage people, who may not be active, to try the activity. With time constraints a common reason people aren't active, the shorter durations may be one less hurdle to better fitness.

3. Join a dance class. The winter/spring 2017 Brainerd Community Education is offering a host of dance classes at Forestview Middle School or Franklin Arts Center. Classes run the gamut from dancing the country two step, to line dancing, swing dancing, dance choreography, even belly dancing.

Booklets of a number of activities for health classes, physical activity, education courses are included for community education. Learn to cook, to crochet, to invest, to golf, to kayak and more. The list of classes was recently mailed to homes. To learn more, go to www.isd181.org or call 218-454-6924 to learn more.

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