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3 Things for Better Health - July 2

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 on the right path.

1. With the Fourth of July just ahead, the Minnesota State Fire Marshal reported via Twitter that 86 people went to a Minnesota hospital last year for a fireworks injury and 18 percent of those patients were children age 9 and younger. Sparklers, which is common and popular with children, can burn up to 1,200 degrees, the fire marshal reported. The marshal's advice includes following manufacturer's instructions on use, keeping away from trees and houses and never pointing them at people, property or pets. Legal fireworks in the state include sparklers, cones and tubes that emit sparks and novelty items like snakes and party poppers. Illegal varieties include firecrackers, bottle rockets, missiles, Roman candles and mortars or shells. For more information, go to And pet owners are reminded the Fourth of July can be stressful for animals with the fireworks. They are not recommended as companions to the fireworks displays. Pet owners are advised to keep animals inside as the loud festivities take place. Also consider the effects of the sun and heat for people, especially the young and old, and pets. The forecast calls for a high near 87 in the lakes area on Independence Day.

2. Community events add to reasons to get out and walk.

The Linden Hill Community Garden Walk from 3-8 p.m. July 10 in Little Falls at the Linden Hill Historic Event Center, 608 Highland Ave. The third annual walk showcases the garden and grounds around the mansions at Linden Hill. Volunteer gardeners will be on hand. Cost is $10 per person.

In addition, the Little Falls Ravine Walking Tour is set 10 a.m. to noon July 14 with participants meeting at the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue Northeast in Little Falls with the Morrison County Historical Society. The five-block walking tour of the Little Falls Ravine, described as a "once significant landmark that has been mostly erased from the landscape." Register by July 13. General admission cost is $20 per person ($15 for MCHS members) and children 12 and younger are free.

3. Handling raw meat? If a kitchen habit includes rinsing raw meat, Everyday Health reports that is creating a dangerous environment by spreading bacteria around the kitchen in water droplets across countertops and sinks. Instead let the cooking temperature eliminate harmful bacteria. Everyday Health also notes it can be a good practice to dedicate a cutting board to meat and use a different one for veggies, fruit and the rest of the meal's ingredients to avoid cross-contamination.

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 keyword Monday Motivator.

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