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Maggie Evans, Kelly J. Rohan, Alan Howard, Sheau-Yan Ho, Patricia M. Dubbert and Barbara A. Stetson

This prospective, naturalistic study examined the relationship between different exercise dimensions (i.e., frequency, intensity, duration, and omissions of planned exercise) and psychological well-being among community adults participating in self-selected exercise. For at least 2 months, participants kept daily exercise diaries and provided weekly ratings for depressed mood, anxiety, sleep quality, concentration, alertness, confidence, weight satisfaction, physical fitness, appetite, satisfaction with physical shape and appearance, and stress experienced. Linear mixed model analyses revealed positive associations between exercise frequency, intensity, and duration across a broad range of psychological and mood-related outcomes. In contrast, omissions of planned exercise were associated with a global and detrimental effect on psychological health. A main effect of age and a moderating effect of gender was observed in many of the models. This work contributes to literature on exercise dimensions and psychological constructs and informs future research that is needed to develop physical activity recommendations for improved mental health.

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David C. Nieman, Beverly J. Warren, Ruth G. Dotson, Diane E. Butterworth and Dru A. Henson

The relationship between cardiorespiratory exercise and psychological well-being and mood state was studied in elderly women. Thirty-two sedentary Caucasian women 67 to 85 years of age were randomly assigned to either a walking or an attention-placebo control group; 30 completed all phases of the study. Intervention groups exercised 30 to 40 minutes 5 days a week for 12 weeks, with the walking group training at 60% heart rate reserve and the control group engaging in mild range-of-motion and flexibility movements that kept their heart rates close to resting levels. In a separate analysis, 12 highly conditioned elderly women 65 to 84 years of age who were active in endurance competitions were recruited at baseline for cross-sectional comparisons. At baseline they exhibited superior scores on the profile of mood states (POMS) and general well-being (GWB) schedule. Twelve weeks of moderate cardiorespiratory exercise improved the VO2max of the sedentary subjects 12.6% but did not result in improvement in POMS or GWB scores greater than those of the attention-placebo control group.

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Amy L. Morgan, David A. Tobar and Lauren Snyder

Purpose:

To determine whether individuals participating in a program designed to accumulate 10,000 steps/ day demonstrate health, fitness and psychological benefits.

Methods:

Sedentary individuals (22 F, 7 M; age 59.8 ± 5.78 yr) were randomly assigned into a walking (W, n = 14) or control (C, n = 15) group. Following baseline assessment, the W group was given a daily plan to reach 10,000 steps/day within 3 weeks and asked to maintain this level for 12 weeks; the C group was asked to maintain their current activity. Participants were evaluated for cardiovascular endurance, resting and postexercise HR, functional ability, cholesterol, psychological well-being, and exercise self-efficacy before and following the 15-week program.

Results:

Significant changes over time were noted between groups (G×T; P < .05) with the W group demonstrating improvements in postexercise HR (−6.51%), total cholesterol (TC: −7.74%), and personal growth (2.53%). While not statistically significant, the W group also demonstrated improvements in 6 min walk distance (2.32%), total/HDL ratio (−10.09%), 8 foot up-and-go time (−3.35%), chair stands (6.17%), flexibility (128%), and environmental mastery (4.54%).

Conclusion:

A 15-week program aimed at accumulating 10,000 steps/day improves cardiovascular performance and personal growth and also positively influences many variables that are indicators of health, fitness and psychological well-being.

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Anne A. Delextrat, Sarah Warner, Sarah Graham and Emma Neupert

Background:

Although Zumba is practiced by millions of people worldwide, there is a paucity of research about its potential benefits. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Zumba on physiological and psychological outcomes in healthy women.

Methods:

Cardiovascular fitness, body composition, physical self-perception and psychological well-being were assessed before and immediately after 8 weeks of Zumba performed 3 times weekly (Zumba group, n = 22, age: 26.6 ± 5.4 years old; height: 165.8 ± 7.1 cm) or no intervention (control group, n = 22, age: 27.9 ± 6.0 years old; height: 164.7 ± 6.2 cm). All variables were analyzed by a 2-way (Group × Time) analysis of variance with repeated measures, and a Bonferroni post hoc test. Pearson correlation coefficient assessed the relationship between changes in anthropometric, physiological and psychological variables.

Results:

Zumba provided significant positive changes in maximal aerobic fitness (+3.6%), self-perception of physical strength (+16.3%) and muscular development (+18.6%), greater autonomy (+8.0%), and purpose in life (+4.4%). No significant changes were observed in the control group. In addition, some psychological changes were significantly correlated to body fat at baseline, and changes in fitness.

Conclusions:

These results highlight that Zumba is beneficial to improve fitness and well-being in healthy women, but does not change body composition.

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Roberto Rojas, Wolfgang Schlicht and Martin Hautzinger

The present study was designed to examine the effects of a 16-week exercise intervention on several aspects of psychological and physical well-being in a sample of HIV-1 positive individuals. An exercise group (n = 19) was compared with a control group (n = 14) prior to and following the intervention on several outcome variables, including health related quality of life, psychological well-being (depression, anxiety, global symptoms), immune parameters, and cardiopulmonary parameters. The exercise group experienced a significant improvement in cardiopulmonary fitness, and health related quality of life improved significantly in that group relative to the control group. Psychological well-being improved similarly in both groups, however, while immune indices did not change in either group. Consistent with earlier studies, it is suggested that a moderate exercise intervention enhanced the health related quality of life in HIV-1 positive individuals.

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Baptiste Fournier, Maxime Lussier, Nathalie Bier, Johanne Filiatrault, Manon Parisien, Miguel Chagnon and Marie-Ève Mathieu

primarily reported, as indicated by cardiorespiratory fitness, strength, and flexibility outcomes ( Parkatti, Perttunen, & Wacker, 2012 ; Song, Yoo, Choi, & Kim, 2013 ; Takeshima et al., 2013 ). Other benefits have been reported regarding psychological well-being and health-related quality of life

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Paul E. Yeatts, Ronald Davis, Jun Oh and Gwang-Yon Hwang

key component of sport competition, which has been used to promote the psychological well-being of injured military personnel. Dr. Guttmann ( 1976 ), a neurosurgeon, is credited as the first professional to utilize sport competition as part of the rehabilitative process to help injured British

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Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry

This study examined the relationship between college students’ perceptions of the motivational climate (i.e., caring, task- and ego-involving) in physical activity courses to their physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Midwestern university undergraduates (N = 412), enrolled in group physical activity classes, completed the following measures: class climate, physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that students who perceived a caring, task-involving climate were more likely to report high physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. A gender comparison found that while perceptions of the ego-involving climate were significantly higher for males, the ego climate did not significantly contribute to the males’ canonical correlation. In addition, while physical self-concept was positively associated with climate for both genders, males were more likely to experience higher physical self-concept than females. Results suggest positive and supportive exercise environments may not only help individuals reap the physical benefits of exercise but also the psychological benefits.

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Guy Faulkner and Stuart J.H. Biddle

Research continues to support the consideration of exercise as an adjunctive treatment for depression. Adopting a qualitative approach, the aim of this study was to extend our understanding of the motives and barriers to exercise faced by this clinical population, and to explore the role of physical activity in promoting psychological well-being, in a way that encompasses the variability and contextuality of the lives of individuals. Marking a departure from standard content analyses reported in the literature, instrumental case studies are developed that offer a different format for representing qualitative data. Given its longitudinal nature, this study demonstrates the fundamental importance of considering the wider context of participants’ lives in order to understand the relationship between physical activity and psychological well-being. This association is likely to be complex and highly idiosyncratic. Such an understanding may inform a more critical insight into the potential of exercise as an antidepressant in terms of process and effectiveness.

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Frederiki C. Moustaka, Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Chris Kabitsis and Yannis Theodorakis

Background:

The present study evaluated the effectiveness of an autonomy-supportive intervention based on self-determination theory in influencing perceptions of autonomy support, basic psychological needs, behavioral regulations, subjective vitality, and exercise behavior.

Methods:

35 female exercise participants age 30 to 58 years who enrolled to an 8-week exercise program attended 24 exercise classes that were taught using either an autonomy-supportive (n = 19) or a lack of autonomy support (n = 16) instructing style.

Results:

The experimental group reported an increase in perceived autonomy support, the fulfillment of the needs for autonomy and competence, identified regulation, intrinsic motivation, and subjective vitality. They also reported higher attendance rates during the program and greater participation to moderate and/or mild nonstructured exercise during 5 weeks after the end of the program. The control group reported a decrease in perceived autonomy support, the needs for autonomy and competence, intrinsic motivation, and subjective vitality.

Conclusion:

The results supported tenets of self-determination theory and highlighted the motivational and psychological benefits of an autonomy-supportive exercise instructing style among middle-age women.