Just telling people to become physically active simply isn’t enough, and that’s where Colorado State University’s AgingPLUS program comes in. Dr. Manfred Diehl, adjunct professor in Colorado School of Public Health’s department of community and behavioral health, along with a team of other researchers are testing a new approach on how to better motivate middle-aged and older adults to make physical activity a lasting part of their daily routine.
AgingPLUS is a program that Dr. Diehl started as a pilot several years ago to provide participants with insights on how they can fit exercise into their daily life. Funding for the initial years of the project was provided by the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute ($25,000), the Colorado School of Public Health ($20,000) and the Prevention Research Center in the College of Health and Human Sciences ($30,000).
Participants received both exercise and education during the pilot program, which was held for two hours a week for a total of eight weeks. Dr. Diehl recruited locally for older adults who spent weeks one through four learning about the aging process, working with instructors in the Adult Fitness Program to develop personal fitness goals and learn how to realistically achieve them. In the second half of the program, participants kept an activity log, monitoring their daily physical activity, their mood while exercising, and their and progress towards their goals.