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. Consider adding ginger. Women's Health recently quoted Karen Ansel, a registered dietician nutritionist, and author of "Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger Live Longer," in touting the overall health benefits of ginger as being wide-ranging. Those on medication should consult with their physician if taking more than a couple of tablespoons per day to make sure it won't interfere with the medication. In fresh ginger, look for smooth, unblemished skin that isn't dried out. Ginger roots may be stored unpeeled and wrapped in plastic in a refrigerator for three weeks or in the freezer for six months, Women's Health reported. It has a strong, peppery taste so the advice is to chop it finely for recipes. It may be a nice addition for baking, or good to add to a smoothie to start the day, or to create a tea, or use with oil and Dijon mustard for a spicy salad dressing. Women's Health noted ginger's benefits include antioxidants to protect against cancer and protect the skin, a ginger tea can calm a stomach after a meal or fight nausea, it can fight cold and can lower bad cholesterol levels. Peel back the rough skin when ready to use.

2. Wondering when to toss food out? WebMD notes the sniff test isn't always foolproof so the recommendation is to label and date food. Go to to see a list of foods and dates for how long they last in and out of the fridge or as leftovers.

3. Exercise is always important and for adults age older than age 50, there are options to get in cardio, strengthen muscles and retain flexibility (important to avoid falls).

"Exercise helps stop, delay, and sometimes improve serious illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis," WebMD reported. "It can help your brain stay sharp and keep you from falling into a funk."

Walking remains at the top of the list as affordable, simple and effective. Jogging helps get heart rates up and be effective at intervals with walking, WebMD advises paying extra attention to stretching and strengthening. Other options with social benefits include dancing, golfing, cycling, kayaking, tennis, pickleball, swimming, yoga, Tai Chi-but there are many more.

"If you're in good health, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity a week," WebMD reported. "It's better when you spread it out over three days or more, for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time. Also spend time at least twice a week specifically working the muscles in your legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms. Generally speaking, the more you exercise, the more benefit you get. And anything is better than nothing."

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 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 or 218-855-5852.