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Kelly P. Arbour, Amy E. Latimer, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis and Mary E. Jung

This study examined whether the positive impressions formed of able-bodied exercisers extend to people with a physical disability. Participants (226 women and 220 men) read a description of a man or woman with a spinal cord injury who was described as an exerciser, nonexerciser, or control, and then rated the target (i.e., the person being described in the vignette) on 17 personality and 9 physical dimensions. Results revealed significantly more favorable ratings for the exerciser than both the nonexerciser and control on almost all dimensions. Additionally, the male control target was rated more favorably than the female counterpart on three personality and two physical attributes. Evidently, the exerciser stereotype may undermine negative impressions of people with physical disabilities.

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Nic Martinez, Marcus W. Kilpatrick, Kristen Salomon, Mary E. Jung and Jonathan P. Little

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has many known physiological benefits, but research investigating the psychological aspects of this training is limited. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the affective and enjoyment responses to continuous and high-intensity interval exercise sessions. Twenty overweight-to-obese, insufficiently active adults completed four counterbalanced trials: a 20-min trial of heavy continuous exercise and three 24-min HIIT trials that used 30-s, 60-s, and 120-s intervals. Affect declined during all trials (p < .05), but affect at the completion of trials was more positive in the shorter interval trials (p < .05). Enjoyment declined in the 120-s interval and heavy continuous conditions only (p < .05). Postexercise enjoyment was higher in the 60-s trial than in the 120-s trial and heavy continuous condition (p < .05). Findings suggest that pleasure and enjoyment are higher during shorter interval trials than during a longer interval or heavy continuous exercise.

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A. Justine Dowd, Toni Schmader, Benjamin D. Sylvester, Mary E. Jung, Bruno D. Zumbo, Luc J. Martin and Mark R. Beauchamp

The objective of the studies presented in this paper was to examine whether the need to belong can be used to enhance exercise cognitions and behavior. Two studies examined the effectiveness of framing exercise as a means of boosting social skills (versus health benefits) for self-regulatory efficacy, exercise intentions, and (in Study 2) exercise behavior. In Study 1, inactive adults primed to feel a lack of social belonging revealed that this manipulation led to greater self-regulatory efficacy (but not exercise intentions). In Study 2, involving a sample of inactive lonely adults, all participants reported engaging in more exercise; however, those in the social skills condition also reported a greater sense of belonging than those in the health benefits comparison condition. These findings provide an important basis for developing physical activity interventions that might be particularly relevant for people at risk for feeling socially isolated or lonely.