During my water aerobics class this morning, our leader talked about three things that help us age well: Cognitive challenges, Activity, and Sleep. My former educator brain immediately began thinking of an acronym, to which I added three other aging-well must-haves: CASTLE – Cognitive challenges, Activity, Sleep, Thankfulness, Laughter, Every day.
My body is my castle – it’s where I live each day. I want my castle to be a strong fortress ready to take on whatever Life brings. So, do what research (and life experiences) tells us: focus on making your body and soul resilient so that you can live a long and healthy life.
C: Cognitive challenges
Challenge your mind to learn something new: a language, a musical instrument, a recipe. Repetitive memory games have their place, but sparking those neural cells helps your brain function at a higher level. (Read more)
Are you moving every day? Walking is still considered one of the best ways to exercise your body. Already doing that? Add some type of aerobic exercise into your weekly routine. For me, that’s two days a week of moderate water aerobics and one day of tap dancing. Even doing simple household chores to the rhythm of music can up your activity levels each day. (Read more)
Sleep is sometimes underrated. I know folks who brag about not needing more than a few hours of sleep each night. Well, the best brag should be, “I got a good eight hours of sleep last night!” Our bodies need rest, and 7-9 hours of sleep can do a body good. (Read more)
Thankfulness is a mindset that leads to amazing benefits. From better emotional health to actual physical improvements, an attitude of being grateful positively affects you. (Read more)
Laughter truly can be the best medicine! Not only do you engage facial muscles when you laugh, you engage emotions to counter depressive moods. Laugh at yourself; laugh with others. Look for humor, and you will find it. (Read more)
E: Every day
Consistency for all the above is critical to ongoing success. Make a habit of including each of the characteristics in the CASTLE acronym in your daily routine. (Read more)
Your castle should be a grand place that is well-built inside and out, ready to withstand Life’s storms. Build your castle, brick by brick, every day. Together, we’ll form a kingdom to stand the tests of Time.