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Does resistance training improve exercise motivation?

Resistance training can maintain and increase muscle strength and functional capacity when ageing and it is recommended for older adults at least twice a week. However, only a few meet these recommendations. A sedentary lifestyle has unfavourable associations also with psychological functioning and mental health.

Regular resistance training increases the intrinsic motivation for both training and physical activity in general. Additionally, exercise planning also increases, which indicates that the subjects start to think about how to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle. Those who increase their intrinsic motivation for exercise and exercise self-efficacy during an intervention are more likely to continue resistance training very frequently.

Therefore intrinsic motivation for exercise and increasing confidence to maintain a physically active lifestyle contribute to continuing resistance training independently. These factors should be taken into account in exercise interventions and exercise in general to promote the continuance of behaviour.