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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329486

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

Title: Aerobic and resistance exercise reinforcement and discomfort tolerance predict meeting activity guidelines

Author
item Flack, Kyle
item Johnson, Luann - University Of North Dakota
item Roemmich, James

Submitted to: Physiology and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2017
Citation: Flack, K.D., Johnson, L., Roemmich, J.N. 2017. Aerobic and resistance exercise reinforcement and discomfort tolerance predict meeting activity guidelines. Physiology and Behavior. 170:32-36.

Interpretive Summary: Background: Differences in those people who do or do not get enough exercise could identify things that could be used to help increase exercise adherence. How motivating exercise is to a person and tolerance for the discomfort felt during exercise may inform such individual differences. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test if people who meet aerobic or muscle strengthening activity guidelines find those types of exercise more motivating and whether a person’s preference and tolerance for exercise intensity predicts whether they find exercise motivating. Methods: 38 men and 50 women (n=50) were measured for how motivating they found aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity, their usual minutes of aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity, and they completed the Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire. Results: We found that people who met physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity found exercise to be about 55% more motivating, than those who did not meet these guidelines. Preference and tolerance for exercise intensity was related to greater motivating value of muscle strengthening exercise, but not motivating value of aerobic exercise. Conclusion: We conclude that increasing the motivating value of a type of exercise may increase participation in that mode of exercise. Increasing discomfort tolerance may be one means of increasing the motivating value of a type of exercise.

Technical Abstract: Background: Understanding individual-differences of those people who do and do not meet physical activity recommendations could inform targets for increasing physical activity. Exercise reinforcement may be one such individual-level determinate, but it is not yet known whether those who meet activity guidelines have a greater relative reinforcing value (RRV) of aerobic exercise training (RRVAT) or resistance training (RRVRT). The predictors of RRVAT or RRVRT are also not yet known. For instance, greater tolerance for exercise discomfort may be associated with exercise reinforcement. Purpose: To determine whether individuals who meet aerobic activity or muscle strengthening activity guidelines have greater RRVAT or RRVRT and whether the preference and tolerance for exercise intensity predicts RRVAT or RRVRT. Methods: Men (n=38) and women (n=50) were measured for RRVAT, RRVRT, minutes of vigorous physical activity, usual RT behavior, and completed the Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire. Results: RRVAT and RRVRT were correlated (r=0.46, p'0.001) within individuals. Individuals who met physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity had 58% greater RRVAT and 54% greater RRVRT, respectively, than those who did not meet these guidelines. Preference and tolerance for exercise intensity was associated (p <0.01) with greater RRVRT, but not RRVAT. Conclusion: RRV of two disparate modes of exercise were only moderately correlated. Thus, conclusions regarding the relationship of ‘exercise reinforcement’ with physical activity behavior should be limited to the mode of exercise tested. Increasing RRV of a mode of exercise may be effective for increasing participation in that mode of exercise. Increasing discomfort tolerance may be one means of increasing RRV of exercise.