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Courses on Aging

Exercise and Aging, Colorado State University

Robert Gotshall, PhD, Colorado State University, United States


EX 444: Exercise and Aging
Colorado State University- Health and Exercise Science
Robert Gotshall, Ph.D.

Text: Robert Gotshall, PhD, Successful Aging: Role of Exercise

Testing: Two (2) exams [multiple choice, True/False, etc., single essay] 100 points each; tests cover both text and lecture material
Missed exams count as 0 points; make arrangements for absence from exams

Term Paper: 100 points, a term paper is required and is due at the final exam, see instructions for details.

Grading: 300 total points: A= >270 pts.; B= 240-269 pts.; C= 210-239 pts.; D= 180-209 pts.; F= <180 pts.
Extra credit paper can be submitted, see instructor for details.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the biology and physiology of aging.
  • Understand the special physical, medical, social, and medical problems of the older adult.
  • Understand the risk and functional assessment of the older adult.
  • Understand the exercise prescription for the older adult.
  • Understand the significance of the "quality" of life.
  • Appreciate the aging process and the "specialness" of the older adult.

Week: Topic- Reading
1: Introduction; Definitions; Demographics- Chapter 1, 2
2: Demographics; Population Characteristics- Chapter 2, 3
3: Concepts of Aging; Biology of Aging -Chapter 3, 4
4: Theories of Aging; Can Aging be Stopped?- Chapter 4
5: Physiology of Aging: Skin, Senses, Organs, Metabolism, Muscle- Chapter 4, 5
6: Physiology of Aging: Bone, Flexibility- Chapter 5
7: Physiology of Aging: Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Work Capacity- Chapter 5
8: EXAM; Physiology of Aging: Immunity- Chapter 5
9: Physiology of Aging: Temperature Regulation, Concerns with Altitude- Chapter 5
10: Physiology of Aging: Balance and Falls -Chapter 5
11: Diseases of Aging- Chapter 5, 6, 7
12: Pharmacology of Aging: Medications- Chapter 8, 9
13: Risk and Functional Assessment of the Older Adult- Chapter 10, 11
14: No Classes Thanksgiving Break!
15: Exercise Programming for the Older Adult; Psychological Health of the Older Adult- Chapter 12, 13
16: Alternative Medical Aspects of Aging Lecture



EX444: Exercise and Aging
Term Paper Guidelines

Purpose: to contact, interview and assess an adult over the age of 65.

Identify an adult over the age of 65. Explain the purpose of your interview. Interview the individual to establish the following kinds of information.

  • Demographics [do not use names or relationships as identifiers]
    • age, work history, retirement status, marital status, children and where living, health history [past and current], list of medications, physical activity history [past and present], how many family members living close.
  • Social activities, ease of access to health care
  • Principle health concerns
  • Major worries
  • Make an assessment of their general functional status
    • are they living independently?
    • are they regularly active?
    • can they walk a mile? etc.
    • have they fallen? etc.
    • what is their probability of adopting an exercise program? If not, why not?
    • what are their perceived barriers to increasing their physical activity?
  • You can use various assessment instruments for heath, medical and physical activity histories. Do not attempt an actual physical assessment, use interview only.

Using the information collected in the interview, prepare a term paper with the data presented appropriately. Then analyze the information as to the current status of the individual. Suggest what interventions from an exercise specialist would be beneficial. Formulate a plausible exercise program for the individual. Finally, comment on your personal interactions with the individual, what you have come to appreciate, and your personal impressions from the interview. What have you learned?

Type the paper as a double-spaced document with appropriate tables, etc. The paper must be at least 5 pages in length



EX444: Exercise and Aging
Extra Credit Paper

Extra credit may be earned by completing the requirements stated below.
Grading will be 10, 5 or 0 course points.

  1. Prepare a formal paper on any topic related to those discussed in class. The physiology/biology of aging and the interaction of physical activity with the aging process are most important.
  2. Document must be typed, double-spaced, with no less than a 12pt Times New Roman font, and 1" margins. Length should be no less than 5 pages.
  3. Document should present a review of the topic with no fewer than 8 references (journal articles, review articles, book chapters, etc.).
  4. Document must contain your interpretation of the topic as it relates to the older adult and present your ideas for applying this information in the older population in order to help with successful aging.
  5. Document must be turned in to the instructor no later than the final exam.


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