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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01888

How Does Exercise Improve Emotion Regulation Ability: Preliminary Evidence of Exercise Intervention Combined with Aerobic Jogging And Yoga

 Yifan Zhang1* and Donghui Tang1*
  • 1Beijing Normal University, China

Purpose: The primary aim of the present study is to examine the effect of 8-week exercise intervention combined with aerobic jogging and yoga on implicit emotion regulation ability. The secondary aim is to explore the specific potential pathways by which the exercise intervention fosters implicit emotion regulation. This may help to understand how the key components of exercise intervention contribute to emotional benefits.
Methods: Sixty participants were randomly allocated to one of two parallel groups: (a) the exercise intervention group (n= 29) and (b) the waitlist control group (n= 31). Participants were asked to fill out scales measuring mindfulness and instructed to complete an emotion regulation task to assess implicit emotion regulation ability as well as the PWC 170 Test to evaluate aerobic fitness before and after the exercise intervention.
Results: The results of two-way repeated ANOVA revealed that 8 weeks of exercise intervention improved implicit emotion regulation, mindfulness and aerobic fitness levels. Path analysis showed that only improved aerobic fitness mediated the intervention effect on implicit emotion regulation ability, controlling for change in negative affect. Notably, the relationship between the effects on implicit emotion regulation ability and aerobic fitness was moderated by improved mindfulness.
Conclusion: 8 weeks exercise intervention improves implicit emotion regulation ability. The aerobic fitness may be an essential pathway which mediates the efficacy on implicit emotion regulation ability. Furthermore different components such as aerobic fitness and mindfulness may interactively contribute to such emotional benefits.

Keywords: aerobic exercise, implicit emotion regulation ability, Yoga, Mindfulnes, aerobic fitness

Received: 07 Jun 2019; Accepted: 31 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Zhang and Tang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Mx. Yifan Zhang, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China,
Mx. Donghui Tang, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China,