Motivation and psychological need salience in the experiences of initiating and maintaining exercise as an older female adult
LeBlanc, Meghan E.
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Objectives: The primary objective ofthis study was to explore motivation and psychological need salience in the initiatory and maintenance experiences of older female exercIsers. Methods: Female initiates (n = 3) and reflective maintainers (n = 3) 65 years of age or older (M = 76 years; SD = 5.37) participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed holistically and categorically, following a hermeneutic approach to inquiry. Results: Perceived importance of exercise benefits appeared to be the strongest motive for initiates at this stage of life and connections to others were perceived as valued, but less important in exercise contexts. Also, listening to one's body over instructions from the exercise leader emerged as a key factor to success. Conclusions: Overall, the results ofthis study implicate more self-determined than controlled motives as sources of regulation in older females' exercise initiation experiences. Evidence for psychological needs was more heterogeneous and less conclusive.