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Top tips to stay happy and healthy

There may not have been much good news of late, but one thing we can look forward to now is that spring is just around the corner. The days are gradually getting longer, the spring buds are making their welcome appearance and the end of lockdown is within sight – all good reasons to feel more optimistic.

Many of us have become less active as a result of the pandemic and having to stay in to stay safe. We want to emerge from lockdown and be ready to enjoy life again as it gradually returns to normal over the coming months. So, as we come out of ‘hibernation’ here are our 6 top tips to keep yourself happy, healthy and ready to spring into spring:

Stay active – of course this is our top tip! We have oodles of exercises you can do at home such as our cuppa routine or you can join our live or on-demand classes in the Move it or Lose it Club which is available 24/7. For most of us getting out for a walk every day, (winter weather willing) even if it’s just for ten minutes, makes a huge difference to our mood.

Serve yourself a healthy plate – make the largest portion on your plate a selection of different coloured vegetables to help make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep you healthy. NHS advice is that we eat a rainbow of fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruit and veg.

Keep in touch – especially while we continue to be in lockdown making the effort to stay in touch with good friends helps our emotional health and well-being. There’s been a revival in letter writing and Ofcom have reported a huge surge in people using online platforms like Zoom and WhatsApp. Just picking up the phone to call a friend can really lift our spirits – it’s good to talk.

Get into games – games like crossword puzzles, word finders and other brain teasers help to keep your brain young and mentally stimulated. In our social club, quiz time has been incredibly popular and watching the likes of Countdown or House of Games on TV is a great way to boost the brain cells.

Learn something new – learning a new skill such as painting or using a computer can be great fun and is good for your mental health. How about learning a dance? Dancing improves brain function and boosts memory and several studies have shown that dancing is linked to a reduced risk of dementia. Give it a go, no one’s watching!

Smile – be kind to yourself and give yourself a smile when you look in a mirror to help increase your feeling of well-being. Research has shown that laughter, which often starts with a smile, increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which improves your resistance to illnesses.

If you’re looking for a way to combine all of these tips, then the Move it or Lose it Club is the solution. There’s activities and hobbies, exercise, art, cookery, quizzes, chats and more. Give it a go for free, sign up using code FEBFREE for one months free membership. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

And to test your knowledge, our February newsletter has a Valentine’s Quiz which we’ve included here along with the answers.

February is the month of love, why not test your knowledge on the subject of love and have a go at our Valentine’s quiz.
1. What kind of flowers are traditionally give as a token of love?
2. Which Roman god is usually depicted as a plump cherub with a bow and arrow?
3. In Japan, what do women traditionally give to men on Valentine’s Day?
4. If you’re quick to show your feelings, where do you wear your heart?
5. Who led the Chicago gangsters behind the St Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929?
6. Who played the title role in the film Shirley Valentine?
7. Which Scottish poet wrote A Red, Red, Rose?
8. What is the name of the small heart-shaped sweets with short, romantic messages on them?

1. Red roses
2. Cupid
3. Chocolates
4. On your sleeve
5. Al Capone
6. Pauline Collins
7. Robbie Burns
8. Love Hearts

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