How Does Exercise Improve Implicit Emotion Regulation Ability: Preliminary Evidence of Mind-Body Exercise Intervention Combined With Aerobic Jogging and Mindfulness-Based Yoga.

Author: Zhang Y1, Fu R1, Sun L1, Gong Y1, Tang D1
1College of P. E. and Sports, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
Conference/Journal: Front Psychol.
Date published: 2019 Aug 27
Other: Volume ID: 10 , Pages: 1888 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01888. eCollection 2019. , Word Count: 256

Purpose: The primary aim of the present study is to examine the effect of 8-week mind-body exercise intervention combining aerobic jogging and mindfulness-based yoga on implicit emotion regulation ability. The secondary aim is to explore the specific potential pathways by which the mind-body exercise intervention fosters implicit emotion regulation. This may help us 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: (1) the intervention group (n = 29) and (2) 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 intervention. Results: The results of the two-way repeated ANOVA revealed that 8 weeks of 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: Eight weeks of mind-body 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 fitness; aerobic jogging; implicit emotion regulation ability; mind-body exercise; mindfulness; mindfulness-based yoga; potential pathway

PMID: 31507480 PMCID: PMC6718717 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01888