Iowa State University Extension in Cass County is partnering with the Anita Health and Wellness Center and CAM High School students to bring LIFE to Cass County! The Living (well through) Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise (LIFE) Program introduces older adults to “exergaming”, video games that integrate game play with physical activity. Younger adults (age 16-25) serve as LIFE trainers for the older adult participants. The program is part of a project developed by Iowa State University researchers, and funded by the Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Program of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The LIFE program will be coming to the Anita Health and Wellness Center, beginning on Wednesday, February 19th. Cass County Extension Staff are also looking for local volunteers aged 16-25 to start the program at a site in Atlantic. Any interested local adults aged 60+ are encouraged to participate in this 8 week program, which already has proven beneficial to previous participants.
Participants in the LIFE program will meet twice a week, from 8:45 to 9:45 AM on Mondays and Wednesdays, for 8 weeks- working with CAM High School students to get active through “exergaming” and other group activities. Interested participants will also be asked to fill out a survey before the first class, and after the last class, to meet the research requirements of the project. All participant data will remain completely confidential and anonymous to research conductors.
The local students serving as volunteer trainers for the LIFE program have completed training on using the Kinect® gaming system, leading interactive games, and offering assistance and applying safety precautions when working with older adults as they engage in physical activity.
After the eight week program, participants are encouraged to continue the program on their own if they are interested in doing so. For 16 weeks they also will receive eight bi-weekly newsletters targeting physical activity, nutrition and wellness.
Cass County Extension is looking for local volunteers, from 16-to 25-years of age, who are interested in leading the program at a site in Atlantic. If this may be you, or you know of someone who would be a good fit for the program, please call Kate Olson at the Cass County Extension Office (243-1132) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the LIFE program can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/life.