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Brain Health Fitness: Beyond Retirement

Portrait of an elderly man wearing a white denim shirt and glasses looking away and smiling with hand on chin. Pleased senior entrepreneur, studio shot against grey background.

Educational Gerontology

Raksha Anand, Sandra B. Chapman, Audette Rackley and Jennifer Zientz

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Brain Health Fitness: Beyond Retirement outlines three major challenges related to maintaining and enhancing brain health in seniors: defining the concept of brain health in seniors; discussing gist reasoning as a metric of brain health fitness and as a construct of brain health training; and proposing the incorporation of gist reasoning into everyday complex tasks, both in work and leisure to improve chances for maintaining brain health fitness beyond retirement. Brain performance and overall health rely on the “use it or lose it” notion. Engagement in cognitively challenging activities during the early, middle, and pre-retirement years is important, but the key to maintaining a healthy brain lies in continued involvement. Having a healthy brain includes not only improved performance. Though further studies are needed to determine more concretely how effective cognitive training is at staving off neural degeneration, initial studies have produced promising results.

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Sandi Chapman with blue jacket and green/blue lights, horizontal. Founder and Chief Director, Center for BrainHealth, Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor

Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project

Audette Rackley is wearing a tan blouse with blue lights, vertical. Assistant Director of Strength-Based Programs

Audette Rackley, MS, CCC-SLP

Assistant Director, Strengths-Based Programs Research Clinician