Judy L. Van Raalte */** and Britton W. Brewer **
(*) Department of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA 01109 USA
(**) College of Health Sciences, Wuhan Sports University, 461 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, Hubei Province 430079, China
L. Van Raalte, J., W. Brewer, B. (2021). Perceptions of an Online Mental Cooldown: Acceptability of a Post-Exercise Psychological Skills Intervention. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 52(5), 468-478. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2021.52.468
The myriad benefits of exercise are clear. Unfortunately, many people focus on unpleasant aspects of exercise such as pain and physical exertion and fail to exercise regularly. To help people focus on exercise enjoyment, a mental cooldown that includes aspects of imagery, relaxation, self-talk, and mindfulness was developed and the acceptability of the mental cooldown was assessed. Specifically, 54 participants (n female = 42, n male = 12) who were 18 to 82 years old, exercised, listened to an experimental (mental cooldown) or control audio file, and rated the audio files in terms of acceptability, relevance, likability, and interest. The mental cooldown was rated as acceptable by both older and younger exercisers and as more relevant, likable, and worth listening to after future workouts than was the control audio file. Based on these promising acceptability results, further research on the effects of the mental cooldown on exercise behavior is warranted.
Keywords: Imagery, Relaxation, Self-talk, Mindfulness