Self-compassion and the self-regulation of exercise: reactions to failure, fear of self-compassion and gender differences

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Streuber, Brittany
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Self-compassion facilitates health behaviour self-regulation but only a few studies have examined self-compassion and exercise self-regulation. This online, cross-sectional study investigated self-compassion’s relationship with exercise self-regulation in the context of an exercise failure and examined fear of self-compassion relative to the pursuit of exercise goals and gender differences. Adults (N = 105) who had experienced an exercise failure within the last six months completed baseline measures, recalled an exercise failure and completed questionnaires to assess self-regulation in this context. Self-compassion was negatively related to external motivation and state rumination after controlling for self-esteem. Self-compassion predicted unique variance, beyond self-esteem and age, in exercise goal re-engagement and negative affect experienced after an exercise failure. Exercisers reported low fear of self-compassion regarding self-regulating their exercise. Men reported slightly higher levels of self-compassion than women (N = 125). This research adds to the few studies that examine the role of self-compassion in exercise self-regulation
Exercise, Self-compassion, Fear of self-compassion