The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of three types of training on well-being and frequency of physical activity and to determine whether preintervention motivation moderates the effects.
Sixty-two older adults (M = 75 years old, SD = 5; 61% women) completed 4-mo programs of endurance, functional or strength training, with reassessment of well-being (life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, vitality) and physical activity 12 mo later.
All groups showed small improvements in most measures of well-being at 4 mo. At follow-up, endurance training still had small beneficial effects, while changes with functional and strength training were generally trivial or harmful. Analysis for moderators indicated that autonomously motivated individuals better maintained gains in well-being and had higher frequencies of physical activity at follow-up compared with controlled individuals.
Endurance training is recommended for older adults, but the long-term outcomes depend on the individual’s motivational regulation at commencement.
Solberg, Halvari, and Ommundsen are with the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway. Hopkins is with the Sport Performance Research Inst., AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.