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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. Try PiYo at the Park from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in June and July at Merrifield Park with instructor Jessica Waytashek. Classes are 45 minutes and cost for eight classes is $48 or $7 per session for drop-ins. Bring a yoga mat, water bottle and a towel. PiYo is a combination of Pilates and yoga designed to make a person sweat, stretch and strengthen, Waytashek notes. All fitness levels are welcome. Check out her The Dashing Daisy Facebook page or follow on Twitter. Waytashek is also one to follow to be inspired to be active daily and keep up a running or walking schedule.

2. Want to feel thinner and stronger? Try a 30-minute workout. Time Magazine recently cited a study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise showing "exercise isn't only good for gradual, long-term body benefits. According to new research, just a single 30-minute workout may be enough to help people see themselves as thinner and stronger. The positive effects seem to have staying power beyond the initial post-workout glow."

The recommendation is to choose exercises like cycling or exercising with weights. The study included 60 college-aged women who had body-image issues, Time reported. And those women, who reported positive effects lingering well after the workout, did a hard workout on the bike for the study. The workout engaged the large muscle groups in the lower part of the body.

3. Take care of your feet. WebMD recommends taking care of those two body parts that often get little recognition but serve as the foundation. Simple stretches to try include: Use the big toe to act as a tracer and lift the foot in the air with the big toe tracing circles—15 to 20 of them clockwise and then counter-clockwise.

Cross one foot over the opposite knee and grasp toes with your hand and pull back for a 15 second hold. Repeat three times. For five seconds each, rise on the ball of the foot with the toes pointed forward and flex the foot forward, curling those toes under the foot. Repeat 10 times. Take advantage of the stairs by putting the ball of the foot on one step and letting the heel of the foot stretch downward. Hold 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three times. Equestrians used this exercise to get a better position in the stirrup with heels down.

Take one step back with one leg. With toes on the floor, keep the heel raised and stretch the bottom of the foot for 30 seconds.

And make use of that golf or tennis ball and roll it around under the foot for two minutes at a time.

Also if this summer means spending a lot of time in flip-flops, doctors are recommending getting a summery shoe with more support and structure if wearing flat flip-flops is the summer norm and not just helpful on that trip to the beach.

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.

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