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EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients

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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lesson 39
EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY
Documentation of the psychological benefits of regular exercise has led to the inclusion of "lack of
exercise" as a fourth factor for heart disease that can be modified or controlled by the individual. The other
three risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Among other things, regular
physical exercise helps lower cholesterol, decreases the percentage of body fat, mediates the effects of
diabetes, reduces weight, and lowers blood pressure.
Over the next four lectures we will be looking at exercise psychology in great detail. Will be discussing the
following topics related to exercise psychology:
a.
Psychological benefits of exercise
b.
Theoretical explanations for the relationship between exercise and improved mental health
c.
Exercise adherence and determinants
d.
Theories of exercise behavior
e.
Fitness as a moderator of life stress
f.
The immune system, cancer, HIV and exercise
g.
Social physique anxiety
h.
Exercise addiction
i.
Eating disorders
Psychological Benefits of Exercise
A large body of literature has been amassed that supports the position that regular exercise leads to
improved psychological affect. Improved psychological affect is manifested in the form of a reduction in
negative affect (e.g., anxiety and depression) and an increase in positive affect (e.g., self-efficacy, vigor, well-
being).
Exercise in many cases is as effective as psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs in treating emotional
disorder. These conclusions are supported by several narrative reviews and meta-analysis (Craft & Landers,
1998), Hale, Koch and Raglin, 2000; Van Landuyt, Ekkekakis, Hall & Petruzzello, 2000).
Type of exercises
Studies cited to support the relationship between exercise and psychological affect benefits have used both
acute and chronic exercises. Acute exercise refers to exercise that is of short duration (e.g., thirty
minutes).Chronic exercise refers to long-term exercise (e.g., twelve months). Aerobics exercise refers to
exercise that is accomplished at an exercise intensity that allows for the intake of sufficient oxygen to
maintain continuous exercise. Anaerobic exercise is one in which the exerciser does not get enough oxygen
to maintain continuous exercise. Anaerobic exercise requires the athlete to breathe hard following exercise
in order to replenish stored energy. After a bout of anaerobic exercise, the athlete will need period to time
to "catch her breath." This is not generally necessary with aerobic exercises. Synchronized swimming is an
example of anaerobic exercise. Resistance exercise usually involves the use of weights or weight training to
provide resistance to the muscles, for example, weight lifting.
Special Populations
We turn our attention now to the beneficial psychological effects of regular physical activity on special
populations of people. Special populations can be divided into three categories; clinical patients, children
and elderly, and disabled individuals.
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Clinical Patients
The benefits of regular physical activity are even greater for individuals suffering from psychological
disorders than for normal individuals. Using a meta-analysis procedure, it is observed that:
a)
Both aerobic and nonaerobic exercises were effective in reducing clinical depression.
b)
More depressed individuals benefit more from exercise.
c)
Exercise was as beneficial as psychotherapy and drug therapy for reducing depression.
d)
Long-term exercise programs are more effective than short-term programs for reducing depression in
the clinically ill.
In addition to treating depression and anxiety, exercise is also an effective treatment for clinical patients
suffering from schizophrenia. Results of the exercise program showed psychological improvements in the
form of reduced auditory hallucinations and better sleep patterns. In another investigation, Martinsen,
Raglin, Hofart, and Friis (1998) demonstrated that patients suffering from severe panic disorder could safely
undergo vigorous exercise without suffering panic attacks.
Children and Elderly
Research has also shown the beneficial effects of exercise on children and older adults. Children's exercise
behaviors are greatly uninfluenced by their parents' attitudes and behaviors regarding exercise. Factors that
can influence a child's decision to be physically active include parents' beliefs, the children's perception of
their own competence, and, to come extent their goal orientation.
Regarding exercise and the elderly, research shows that participation in aerobic exercise selectively preserves
some cognitive functioning that normally declines with age.
So, for the elderly, there is not only the benefit of improved fitness and improved psychological affect
associated with exercise, but also the prospect of slowing the decline of some cognitive functions. Exercise
in the elderly is associated with the preservation of certain aspects of memory and spatial relationships and
reduction in confusion, tension, and anger.
Disabled Individuals
Finally, it is important to mention that the beneficial psychological effects of regular exercise extend to
physically challenged individuals as well. For example, wheelchair sport participants have been observed to
enjoy greater psychological benefits from physical activity than wheelchair nonparticipants in sport.
Moderating Variables
In addition, research suggests that there are a number of variables that may moderate or facilitate the
effectiveness of regular exercise on metal well-being.
Time of Day
Research suggests that time of day is not an important factor relative to psychological benefits derived from
exercise. You get just as much affective benefit from running in the morning as from doing so at midday or
in the evening.
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Mode of Exercise
The psychological benefits of acute aerobic exercise appear to the same, regardless of the mode of exercise.
Cox et al. (2000) observed no difference in anxiety between treadmill and stepper exercisers following a
thirty-minute bout of exercise.
Music
Research suggests that listening to music during exercise can increase positive affect in the exerciser.
Attentional Strategy
Relative to attentional strategy, there is evidence that a dissociative (external) attentional strategy may result
in greater psychological benefits (Masters & Ogles, 1998b). Runners who are asked to listen to their own
heart rates during exercise (internal focus) exhibit greater emotional stress than runner who dissociate
during exercise.
Social Environment
The social environment associated with exercise has an effect upon psychological benefits of exercise.
Research results show increased benefits for the socially enriched environment in the form of revitalization
and self-efficacy.
References
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York:
McGraw-Hill Companies
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
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Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  6. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS IN COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS:Locus of Causality
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  8. FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, Goal Setting in Sport
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  17. SITUATIONAL FACTORS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND MOOD:Type of Sport
  18. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:Emotion and Mood
  19. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:The Inverted-U Theory
  20. ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED-U THEORY:Apterís Reversal Theory
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants