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3 things for better health - Jan. 21

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. One way to keep yourself accountable is to check your weight. There are various schools of thought and the scale shouldn't be the only measure of success, but getting on the scale weekly is one way to make a change before too many pounds add up. WebMD notes the morning is usually the best time to get on the scale for the most accurate reading. "The balance between energy in (eating) and energy out (burning off those calories) is why your weight goes up and down. If you take in more than you burn, you gain weight—sometimes right away. Losing that weight can be hard, too. To lose 1 pound, experts say, your calorie balance (eating minus burning off) needs to be 500 fewer than normal each day for a week."

2. Hate to work out? While gyms can be great motivators for some people, they aren't the only way to be active. Even in the dark, cold days of winter, there are ways to make being active and burn calories. Video games can be a way to be active, like virtual tennis, dance, boxing, basketball and other sports. Even doing chores around the house burns calories. "In one study, people who walked, ran, and climbed on a special mat during a fantasy role-playing game did more exercise than if they'd spent the same amount of time on a treadmill," WebMD notes.

3. Practice mindfulness. It can help overcome negative thinking, which can be part of depression and anxiety and be an obstacle to positive change. Cleveland Health notes these options to practice mindfulness. "Notice your breath or your footsteps for five to 10 seconds. Notice anything that takes your attention away from them. Then guide yourself back to your breath or your footsteps. ... When you get distracted by a negative thought, notice something to engage with in the present. What are you seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling? ...

"Developing positivity can even influence the ways we choose to behave, leading us to feel better and to experience better outcomes in our lives."

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.