The Effect of Guided Relaxation and Exercise Imagery on Self-Reported Leisure-Time Exercise Behaviors in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-wk intervention that used guided relaxation and exercise imagery (GREI) to increase self-reported leisure-time exercise behavior among older adults. A total of 93 community-dwelling healthy older adults (age 70.38 ± 8.15 yr, 66 female) were randomly placed in either a placebo control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received instructions to listen to an audio compact disk (CD) containing a GREI program, and the placebo control group received an audio CD that contained 2 relaxation tracks and instructions to listen to music of their choice for 6 wk. Results revealed that listening to a GREI CD for 6 wk significantly increased self-reported leisure-time exercise behaviors (p = .03). Further exploration of GREI and its effects on other psychological variables related to perceived exercise behaviors may substantiate its effectiveness.

Kim is with the Center for Health Behavior Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Newton is with the Dept. of Physical Therapy, and Sachs, the Dept. of Kinesiology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Giacobbi is with the College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Glutting is with the School of Education, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.