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J Psychol. 2003 Sep;137(5):405-19.

Mood alterations in mindful versus aerobic exercise modes.

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  • 1School of Physical Education, The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Wingate Institute, Israel.


The results of most recent studies have generally indicated an improvement in mood after participation in aerobic exercise. However, only a few researchers have compared mindful modes of exercise with aerobic exercise to examine the effect of 1 single session of exercise on mood. In the present study, the authors assessed state anxiety, depressive mood, and subjective well-being prior to and following 1 class of 1 of 4 exercise modes: yoga, Feldenkrais (awareness through movement), aerobic dance, and swimming; a computer class served as a control. Participants were 147 female general curriculum and physical education teachers (mean age = 40.15, SD = 0.2) voluntarily enrolled in a 1-year enrichment program at a physical education college. Analyses of variance for repeated measures revealed mood improvement following Feldenkrais, swimming, and yoga but not following aerobic dance and computer lessons. Mindful low-exertion activities as well as aerobic activities enhanced mood in 1 single session of exercise. The authors suggest that more studies assessing the mood-enhancing benefits of mindful activities such as Feldenkrais and yoga are needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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