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. Think of tech that helps. The Apple Watch 4 will include electrocardiogram testing. After Apple unveiled the new watch last week, the American Heart Association reported this could lead to quicker diagnosis of "atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase a person's risk for stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications." Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, affects up to 6.1 million Americans, and researchers expect that number to double by 2050.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

"This is an exciting technology, which hopefully can help to alleviate the public health burden of AFib by diagnosing it earlier and taking steps to prevent complications," said Dr. Lin Yee Chen, co-director of the Atrial Fibrillation Center at University of Minnesota Health Heart Care.

2. This week take advantage of still mild temperatures to see the early fall colors. Go for a walk, a bike ride, a jog, a kayak paddle and enjoy it. Try out a new trail. Try the Paul Bunyan State Trail from Brainerd and Baxter to Crow Wing State Park.

3. Make time for unstructured play. The Mayo Clinic noted a recent report, by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which stresses the importance of letting children play. "They say unstructured play allows for proper development and relieves toxic stress. Dr. Angela Mattke, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician, agrees that this type of playtime is important for good health."

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.