Self-control and exercise: a review of the bi-directional relationship

Boat, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4897-8118 and Cooper, S.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, 2019. Self-control and exercise: a review of the bi-directional relationship. Brain Plasticity, 5 (1), pp. 97-104. ISSN 2213-6304

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Self-control has been defined as the mental capacity of an individual to alter, modify, change or override their impulses, desires, and habitual responses. In this review, we will discuss the bi-directional nature of the relationship between self-control and exercise. In brief, higher levels of trait self-control have been associated with greater exercise performance and adherence; whilst the depletion of state self-control has been shown to decrease performance and persistence on subsequent exercise tasks requiring self-control. In the opposite direction, long-term participation in exercise (and improved physical fitness) has been demonstrated to enhance self-control. Furthermore, an acute bout of exercise has been shown to enhance subsequent self-control, particularly when the exercise is of a moderate intensity and requires some degree of cognitive engagement. Throughout, when discussing each of these relationships, evidence will be drawn from other aspects of the review, where appropriate, to enhance our understanding of the observed effects. Finally, recommendations for future research will be made; including the importance of considering the bi-directional nature of the relationship, given that this has implications for our understanding of both self-control and exercise performance and adherence.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Brain Plasticity
Creators: Boat, R. and Cooper, S.B.
Publisher: IOS Press
Date: 2019
Volume: 5
Number: 1
ISSN: 2213-6304
Rights: © 2019 – IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved This article is published online with Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 12 May 2020 12:07
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 12:07

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