The effects of aerobic- versus strength-training on body image among young women with pre-existing body image concerns
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This experiment compared the effects of aerobic-training (AT) versus strength-training (ST) on body image among young women with pre-existing body image concerns. Theory-based correlates of body image change were also examined. Participants were 46 women (M age=21.5 years), randomly assigned to an 8-week AT or ST intervention consisting of supervised exercise 3 days/week. Multidimensional measures of body image were administered pre- and post-intervention, along with measures of physical fitness, perceived fitness, and exercise self-efficacy. Women in the AT condition reported greater reductions in social physique anxiety (p=.001) and tended to report greater improvements in appearance evaluation (p=.06) than women in the ST condition. Changes in perceived fatness, perceived aerobic endurance and aerobic self-efficacy were significantly correlated with body image change (ps<.003). Results provide direction for prescribing exercise to improve body image and advancing theory to account for the effects of exercise.
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