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3 things for better health - March 18

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. Don't overlook this - it is important to stretch. "It's true—regular stretching can help strengthen your muscles and tendons. It also can make them more flexible. That allows your joints to move more easily and helps the muscles around them work better," WebMD reports. It's easy to rush past stretching after putting in time during a workout, but it should be considered an important part of the workout, not a sometimes after-thought. Also, stretching can reduce muscle soreness, making it easier to move after putting those muscles through the workout and make it easier to get back to the next workout. Check out stretches at this link that you can do at work, or anywhere you have a chair and a wall.

2. Want a grab and go healthy snack? Consider frozen grapes, which are touted as being hydrating and filling. Need a snack at the office? Consider roasted chickpeas. WebMD notes you can make them by rinsing and draining a 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas. Blot dry. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crispy.

3. Need to "quiet" your mind? Don't overlook the benefits of deep breathing as a way to find a calm place and stillness, which can be beneficial throughout the day and a great stress reliever. Put your attention to your breath. WebMD recommends putting your hand on your belly to feel it rise and fall. Take short, quick breaths, followed by slower and deeper breaths. "Shoot for about six breaths a minute," WebMD reports.

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.