3 things for better health: What to try this week


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. Strong bones provide a health foundation. WebMD notes the bone loss of osteoporosis or “porous bones” affects more than 10 million people, increasing the risk of fracture. Women who are thin with small frames are more likely to be affected but men may also be.

There are ways to help reduce the risk no matter how old. Eating calcium-rich foods is one way. “You need the equivalent of about three and a half 8-ounce glasses of milk a day,” WebMD reports. “Fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring also contain vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium, and leafy green vegetables also provide magnesium, which helps maintain good bone quality. Some foods and drinks are also fortified with calcium and vitamin D.” Good choices include yogurt and cheese, sardines and salmon, cereals and orange juice.

Foods that aren’t helpful include salty foods like processed meats and canned soups and heavy alcohol consumption.

“Weight-bearing exercise can help you build bone and maintain it,” WebMD reported. “That includes walking, jogging, tennis, and other activities where you move the full weight of your body. Using small weights in many different activities helps bones.


“Women who walk just a mile a day have four to seven more years of bone reserve, researchers have found.” For more information, go to .

2. Everyone knows it’s good to do, but still it appears to be difficult to add more fruits and vegetables to meals. The National Diabetes Prevention Program recommends adding brightly colored fruit to breakfast meals to go with waffles, toast, cereal or oatmeal. Create smoothies with fresh or frozen berries, ice and yogurt. Add kidney beans, peas, corn or green beans to soups or sauces. With cooler weather on the way, using the slow cooker or creating soups and stews, often a healthy meal choice, will provide plenty of opportunity for a hot meal with added veggies. Pick a vegetable that is new to you and try it. With gardens and farmer’s markets producing root vegetables, this is a good time to experiment and add veggies to the meal or for snacks or maybe avocado toast.

3. Jogging, say a pace of 4-6 mph, can help reduce belly fat, which is linked to heart disease and diabetes. Healthline suggests getting started by trying to jog 20-30 minutes three or four times a week. If that is too much for a start, just walk. Walking is universally reported as one of the best exercises for weight loss and Healthline noted a 12-week study of 20 women with obesity who walked 50-70 minutes three times a week reduced body fat and waist circumference by 1.5 percent and 1.1 inches.

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.

Related Topics: HEALTH
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