Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Confidence Can Play A Part In The Feel-Good Effects Of Exercise

Date:
May 11, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Studies in the hundreds have proven what many attest from personal experience: Exercise can make a person feel good, reduce stress, enhance a sense of well-being. Yet no one really knows why, says Edward McAuley, professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois. Few studies have successfully identified the mechanism underlying this relationship.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Studies in the hundreds have proven what many attest from personal experience: Exercise can make a person feel good, reduce stress, enhance a sense of well-being.

Related Articles


Yet no one really knows why, says Edward McAuley, professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois. Few studies have successfully identified the mechanism underlying this relationship.

Based on a study being published this month in the journal Health Psychology, at least part of the connection appears to come from a person's self-confidence about exercise, McAuley said. The emotional, or "affective," benefits you get from physical activity are dependent, in part, on what you believe you're capable of, what researchers call your exercise "self-efficacy," McAuley said.

The study, co-written with graduate students Heidi-Mai Talbot and Suzanne Martinez, shows that the higher a person's self-efficacy, the more likely he or she is to feel emotional benefits from exercise, McAuley said. "It suggests that changing the environment, providing information that enhances efficacy, can improve the exercise experience, at least emotionally. That becomes important particularly if the enjoyment, the emotions that are experienced in exercise, are implicated in getting people to do it again."

In the study, funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, McAuley and his research colleagues fed bogus data to 46 low-active college women, most of whom exercised less than once a week.

Half of them, chosen at random and labeled as "high-efficacy," were told after individual fitness tests on a stationary cycle that they placed in the top fifth for fitness among women of similar age and level of activity. The other half, labeled "low-efficacy," were told after the same tests that they placed in the bottom fifth. All the subjects were shown false computer printouts to show how their heart rates compared with their peers', and all were given positive messages about exercise.

In a follow-up test given several days after the first, each subject was first reminded of her previous test results, then was asked to work out for 20 minutes on a Stairmaster. At intervals before, during and after the exercise, each was asked to respond to questions from two measures designed to assess sense of well-being, psychological distress and fatigue.

The results showed the high-efficacy group responding with a significantly greater positive response and reduced negative feelings, McAuley said. The low-efficacy group showed no correlation between efficacy and affect (or emotional response). In the high-efficacy group, however, efficacy was "positively and highly correlated with affective responses in all the right directions, at every single time point."

McAuley thinks the results suggest efficacy influences how one deals with the body's signals during exercise. A person with lower efficacy might feel themselves getting tired or reaching their limit earlier. In the person with higher efficacy, "the belief in your capabilities is actually overriding what the body's telling you, you're thinking 'I can go further, I can work harder, this is a good feeling.' "


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Confidence Can Play A Part In The Feel-Good Effects Of Exercise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990511075732.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1999, May 11). Confidence Can Play A Part In The Feel-Good Effects Of Exercise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990511075732.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Confidence Can Play A Part In The Feel-Good Effects Of Exercise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990511075732.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins