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Runner's World cites Elon research about the psychology of exercise

The popular running publication focused on research by Wally Bixby, associate professor of exercise science, and recent alumna Kristen Fontela '17.

A recent article in the popular publication Runner's World highlighted research into the psychology of exercise conducted by Wally Bixby, associate professor of exercise science, and Kristen Fontela '17. 

The June 14 article by Alex Hutchinson titled "How Does Running Make You Feel?" cites research that Bixby and Fontela that looked at the difference in how people feel about exercise when they pick their own pace versus having a pace dictated to them. 

The research team worked with 23 participants, with each rating their enjoyment of exercise sessions on a recumbent bike. Each participant had a session when they were able to pick their own pace, and also a session where the pace was prescribed for them. 

"When participants were able to self select their intensity, they felt better throughout and reported greater enjoyment after the exercise session when compared to a prescribed intensity that was identical," Bixby and Fontela concluded from their research, which was presented in early June at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Denver, Colorado

Bixby has conducted extensive research on exercise psychology. Bixby mentored Lumen Scholar Nicole Doolen '17, who focused her research on the difference between exercise regimens that focus on making the participant feel good rather than adhering to a specific level of exercise intensity. 

In the article for Runner's World, Hutchinson noted "if the pace is predetermined, it limits your ability to respond to how your body is feeling in the moment — to back off a bit during a bad patch, then accelerate when you feel better and so on."

Read the full article here

Owen Covington,
6/27/2017 8:30 AM