Psychological Responses to Acute Resistance Exercise in Men and Women Who Are Obese

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Levinger, I, Goodman, C, Hare, DL, Jerums, G, Morris, T, and Selig, S. Psychological responses to acute resistance exercise in men and women who are obese. J Strength Cond Res 23(5): 1548-1552, 2009-The purpose of the study was to investigate the psychological response to the very first session of resistance exercise on positive well-being (PWB), psychological distress (PD), and perception of fatigue in untrained men and women who are obese. Forty-five (male = 22, female = 23) untrained, middle-aged volunteers (mean ± SEM, 51.0 ± 1.0; range, 40-69 years) participated in the study. Participants were divided into 4 groups according to sex and obesity level (i.e., men who are obese, men who are nonobese, women who are obese, women who are nonobese). The threshold for obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥94 cm for men and 80 cm for women. Measures included body composition, aerobic power, muscle strength, and quality of life (Short Form 36, SF-36). Before and after resistance exercise, participants completed the Subjective Exercise Experience Scale (SEES). Paired sample t-tests were used to assess changes in SEES scores within group pre- and post-exercise and repeated-measures analysis of variance were used to assess changes in SEES scores between groups. Exercise increased the perception of PWB in both women who are obese and nonobese, without changes in PD or fatigue. In women, the change in PWB after exercise was negatively correlated with most scales of the SF-36, particularly with the mental health dimension (r = −0.55, p < 0.01). No significant changes in PWB, PD, or fatigue were found in men who are obese. Acute resistance exercise improved PWB in women who are obese and nonobese and those with lower self-perceived quality of life scores at the start improved the most. In addition, resistance exercise did not increase feelings of distress in either women or men who are obese.

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