To analyze the influence of a supervised concurrent exercise program on emotional well-being and emotional distress in middle-aged women.
This randomized controlled trial included 150 middle-aged women recruited for the FLAMENCO project. Participants were allocated into counseling (n = 75) or exercise (n = 75) groups. The counseling group attended conferences on healthy lifestyle (including diet and physical activity topics). The exercise group followed a 60-min concurrent (aerobic + resistance) exercise training 3 days/wk for 16 weeks. Emotional health was assessed with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) in two diverse timeframes, state (PANAS-S) and trait (PANAS-T) ranging from 10 to 50, where higher scores reflect greater affective emotional health/experience (positive affect subscale) and greater emotional distress (negative affect subscale). The differences between the counseling and exercise groups in PANAS were analyzed by linear regression.
The total number of women for the per-protocol analyses was 111 divided into the counseling (n = 53) and exercise (n = 58) groups. After adjusting for body mass index and Mediterranean diet adherence, PANAS-S and PANAS-T-positive affect scores increased by 3.81 and 3.02, respectively, in the exercise group whereas they decreased by 0.15 and increased by 0.51 in the counseling group (both, P < 0.05). PANAS-T negative affect decreased by 4.10 in the exercise group whereas only decreased by 0.9 in the counseling group (P < 0.05).
A 16-week concurrent exercise program improved emotional experience in middle-aged women. Specifically, women in the exercise group significantly improved their emotional well-being and emotional distress through greater changes in positive affect and negative affect compared with the counseling group.