Introduction/Purpose: It is important that individuals experience a positive affective response during exercise to encourage future behavior. Exercise intensity is a determinant of the affective response. Current research protocols have failed to find the intensity at which all individuals will experience this positive affective response. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether sedentary women could self-regulate their exercise intensity during exercise using the Hardy and Rejeski Feeling Scale (FS) to experience a specific positive affective state and to examine the specific intensities chosen and their consistency over exercise bouts.
Methods: Seventeen sedentary women completed eight 30-min laboratory-based treadmill exercise sessions (two sessions were completed each week). In four consecutive sessions, participants exercised at an intensity they perceived corresponded to an FS value of 1 (fairly good) and the other four sessions at an intensity corresponding to an FS value of 3 (good). Measures of exercise intensity were recorded.
Results: Participants exercised at a lower intensity to achieve an affective state of good (FS 3) compared with fairly good (FS 1). Both these intensities lay close to the individual's ventilatory threshold. The selected intensity was consistent across trials with intensity increasing across time to maintain the required affective state.
Conclusions: Sedentary women can regulate intensity using the FS to experience a pleasant affective state, and the intensities chosen are physiologically beneficial for health and fitness.