3 things for better health - July 15


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. Trimming 300 calories a day -- which a HealthDay reporter noted was the equivalent of six Oreo cookies -- can cut the risk for diabetes and heart disease, according to a story posted on WebMD. A study group of 200 adults, all younger than 50 and at a healthy weight or carrying a few extra pounds, attempted to reduce their calorie intake by 25% for two years. They had varying degrees of success but the average calorie reduction was 12% or 300 calories per day. "Even so, they managed a 10% decline in weight, 71% of which was fat," the HealthDay story stated. The weight loss, while considered moderate, brought additional health benefits, including improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure and markers linked to heart disease, cancer and mental decline.

2. Keep it cool. The forecast calls for highs near 90 degrees this week. For those who remember the Polar Vortex, the heat is welcome. For others, it's more of a struggle to stay cool and for some it can create a heat-related illness. Without air conditioning, extended days of warm temps can make it hard to cool the house down. Let in the cooler night air. During the day keeping blinds or curtains drawn and closing windows can help as the day heats up. Having a fan helps, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says not to rely on a fan as a main cooling device during an extreme heat event. Taking a cool shower helps. The CDC says to avoid using the oven or stove to cook and to wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing. And if looking for a break, check out indoor options with air conditioning like the Westgate Mall, Central Lakes College, the Brainerd Public Library and the Lakes 12 Theatre, to name a few. Limit strenuous activity at peak heating times, pace activity and drink lots of water. The CDC also notes it's a good time to check on neighbors to make sure they are handling the heat. And Hallmark is now airing a Christmas movie marathon to help provide a wintry state of mind with Christmas in July.

3. Short on time to workout? Try a kettlebell. Women's Health notes swinging the bell is a total-body exercise and can be especially good when people are short on time. Swinging the kettlebell works glutes, lats, core, shoulders and pecs. Women's Health stated three sets of five reps is a good place to start and advised people to think of the move as a hip hinge not a squat. To begin, stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Here's the Women's Health how-to: "Hold a kettlebell in front of your body with both hands, arms straight. With a slight bend in your knees and a flat back, hinge at your hips and swing the kettlebell back through your legs. Use that momentum to stand and swing the kettlebell out in front of your body, up to shoulder height. Thrust your hips forward, and engage your glutes and core as you stand up straight. When the kettlebell hits shoulder height, your knees should be straight and glutes contracted in a full hip extension. Allow the kettlebell to swing back down through your legs. That's one rep." Go online to see the full article and video of how to do the exercise correctly


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

Questions or tips to share, contact Renee Richardson, managing editor, at or 218-855-5852.

What To Read Next
Get Local