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Colin A. Armstrong, James F. Sallis, Melbourne F. Hovell and C. Richard Hofstetter

Components of the transtheoretical model of change were examined in a prospective study of the adoption of vigorous exercise in adults. Respondents to a random mail survey were resurveyed 2 years later. Those who reported no vigorous exercise at baseline were classified as either contemplators (n = 213) or precontemplators (n = 188). Contemplators had higher baseline self-efficacy scores than precontemplators (p < .001). In multivariate analyses, baseline stage of change was a significant predictor (p < .0005) of later adoption of vigorous exercise, even after controlling for differences in age, gender, and self-efficacy. During the first 6 months postbaseline, contemplators were nearly twice as likely as precontemplators to progress to the stage of action (46% vs. 24%), and four times more likely to progress to the stage of maintenance (25% vs. 6%). Use of the transtheoretical model in the study of exercise was supported in this prospective examination of exercise in a community sample.

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Milan Chang, Suzanne Leveille, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Jack M. Guralnik

The Hebrew Home Study of Impairment and Exercise is a cross-sectional community-based study of nondisabled adults age 75–85 years that assessed attitude toward exercise by asking level of agreement with four statements evaluating participants’ perceptions of the health benefits and personal rewards of exercise. A physical-performance battery evaluated lower extremity function on a scale of 0 to 12. Attitude toward exercise was compared across 4 groups: non-vigorous exercisers with scores of 4–6 (n = 21), 7–9 (n = 90), or 10–12 (n = 113) and vigorous exercisers (n = 71). Vigorous exercisers had a significantly better attitude toward exercise than the reference group did, with odds ratios of 1.8-5.5 in all attitude statements. The lowest and moderate-performance groups had less positive attitudes toward exercise than the reference group did, with odds ratios of 0.27–0.62 for all statements. There was a highly significant gradient with better attitude toward exercise and higher functional-status level. Future work in improving older adults’ compliance with exercise should take into account the less positive attitude of those with functional limitations toward the benefits of exercise.

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W. Jack Rejeski, Charles J. Hardy and Janet Shaw

This investigation examined the possible psychometric confounds of interpreting exercise-induced symptom reporting as changes in stete anxiety. Thirty male subjects exercised on a motor-driven treadmill for 15 min at 75% of maximum heart rate reserve. Prior to» during, and following the exercise, subjects responded to short forms of Spielberger's State Anxiety Inventory (SAI), Thayer's Aetivation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (AD-ACL), Borg's Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale» and a measure of affect. Preliminary results indicated that following 10 min of recovery from exercise» SAI scores were lower than baseline responses. Upon former analysis of individual SAI items, however, it was evident mat changes occurring in total SAI scores as a result of exercise were strongly influenced by changes in energetic arousal and general deactivation. This conclusion was supported by data from the AD-ACL as well as responses to postexperimental interviews. These findings cal into question the construct validity of the SAI and related state measures (e.g., the Profile of Mood States» or POMS) when used in conjunction with acute bouts of vigorous physical activity.

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Zachary Zenko, Panteleimon Ekkekakis and Dan Ariely

There is a paucity of methods for improving the affective experience of exercise. We tested a novel method based on discoveries about the relation between exercise intensity and pleasure, and lessons from behavioral economics. We examined the effect of reversing the slope of pleasure during exercise from negative to positive on pleasure and enjoyment, remembered pleasure, and forecasted pleasure. Forty-six adults were randomly assigned to a 15-min bout of recumbent cycling of either increasing intensity (0–120% of watts corresponding to the ventilatory threshold) or decreasing intensity (120–0%). Ramping intensity down, thereby eliciting apositive slope of pleasure during exercise, improved postexercise pleasure and enjoyment, remembered pleasure, and forecasted pleasure. The slope of pleasure accounted for 35–46% of the variance in remembered and forecasted pleasure from 15 min to 7 days postexercise. Ramping intensity down makes it possible to combine exposure to vigorous and moderate intensities with a pleasant affective experience.

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Judith Godin, Joanna M. Blodgett, Kenneth Rockwood and Olga Theou

sedentary time with moderate–vigorous activity was more strongly related to lower frailty compared with replacing sedentary time with light activity. However, although more vigorous exercise may offer health benefits to vulnerable individuals, light activity may offer more health benefits for frailer

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Julia C. Orri, Elizabeth M. Hughes, Deepa G. Mistry and Antone Scala

minute of the VO 2 max test and first 2 min of recovery, when the participants were standing. We have shown that both moderate and vigorous exercise training can lead to a healthy response to maximal exercise and recovery, with the MOD group having a slightly improved recovery in the triangular index

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Yara Fidelix, Mara C. Lofrano-Prado, Leonardo S. Fortes, James O. Hill, Ann E. Caldwell, João P. Botero and Wagner L. do Prado

of intensity on psychological outcomes. One of the few studies investigating the relationship between exercise intensity and depression, anxiety, and self-esteem in adolescents with obesity suggested that moderate to vigorous exercise are needed for improving these outcomes 14 ; however, in this

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Frances O’Callaghan, Michael O’Callaghan, Gail Williams, William Bor and Jake Najman

Background:

Studies involving animals and older adults suggest that physical activity (PA) might lead to improved cognitive ability in general, and enhanced intelligence scores (IQ) in particular. However, there are few studies involving young persons and none controlling for the possibility that those with better cognitive skills are more likely to engage in PA.

Methods:

Data are from the Mater–University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy. We measured IQ at the 14-year follow-up and IQ and PA at 21 years. Mean IQ scores are presented at the 21-year follow-up adjusted for IQ at 14 years, and PA and other variables.

Results:

Measures of vigorous exercise, less vigorous exercise, walking, and vigorous activity apart from exercise, produced inconsistent results. Increased levels of less vigorous exercise were associated with higher IQ, but neither higher levels of vigorous exercise nor walking were associated with IQ. For vigorous activity at work or in the home, the associations are curvilinear, with more and less activity both associated with lower IQ.

Conclusions:

While there is an association between some indicators of PA and IQ, there was no consistent evidence that higher PA levels might lead to increased IQ scores.

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Roy J. Shephard

Attention is drawn to specific practical and ethical concerns that may arise when researchers study responses to vigorous exercise in populations with disabilities. It is argued that the study of such individuals can provide important information regarding responses to exercise by nondisabled people. This thesis is illustrated by selected examples relating to (a) central versus peripheral limitation of oxygen transport, (b) the contribution of muscle pumping to venous return during vigorous exercise, (c) the contribution of sympathetic innervation to aerobic training responses, (d) the ceiling of muscle fiber hypertrophy, (e) the functional demands of daily living, and (f) the responsiveness of young children to aerobic training. It is concluded that exercise physiologists have already learned much about normal reactions to exercise by studies involving those disabilities, but there remains scope for many further investigations exploiting the special characteristics of such populations.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton and Margaret Schneider

Background:

Walking short distances provides a convenient opportunity to attain the health benefits of moderate-intensity physical activity. The present study tested the reliability and validity of an instrument designed to assess self-efficacy to overcome barriers to walking for transportation.

Methods:

A sample of 305 undergraduates, ages 18 to 46 y (mean = 20.6 y) (70.3% female), completed self-efficacy measures for travel-related walking and for vigorous exercise. Minutes of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity were assessed using a MTI accelerometer (n = 85).

Results:

Overall, subjects reported low levels of self-efficacy to overcome barriers to walking for transportation. The eight-item walking for transportation self-efficacy scale demonstrated good reliability, discriminant validity, and expected relations to physical activity criteria.

Conclusion:

The conceptual distinction between self-efficacy for travel-related walking and self-efficacy for vigorous exercise may have important implications for interventions seeking to promote moderate-intensity physical activity through walking for transportation.