Self-Compassion and the Self-Regulation of Exercise: Reactions to Recalled Exercise Setbacks

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Self-compassion facilitates health behavior self-regulation; few studies have examined self-compassion and exercise. This online, cross-sectional study investigated self-compassion’s relationship with exercise self-regulation of an exercise setback. Adults (N = 105) who had experienced an exercise setback within the last 6 months completed baseline measures, recalled an exercise setback, and completed questionnaires assessing self-regulation in this context. Self-compassion associated with self-determined motivations and exercise goal reengagement, and negatively related to extrinsic motivations, state rumination, and negative affect. Self-compassion predicted unique variance, beyond self-esteem, in exercise goal reengagement, external regulation, state rumination, and negative affect experienced after an exercise setback. Self-compassion and self-esteem had unique relationships with goal reengagement, state rumination, and situational motivation, while having a complementary relationship with negative affect. This research adds to the few studies that examine the role of self-compassion in exercise self-regulation by examining how self-compassion and self-esteem relate to reactions to a recalled exercise setback.

Semenchuk and Strachan are with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Fortier is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Semenchuk (brittany.streuber@umanitoba.ca) is corresponding author.
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