Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), the purpose of the present study was to examine whether motivation, self-determined and controlling types of motivation could predict a range of exercise-related behaviours, cognitions and physical self-evaluations. Exercisers (n¼375) from ten health clubs in the North of England completed questionnaires measuring exercise motivation, exercise stages of change, number of relapses from exercise, future intention to exercise, barriers self-efficacy, physical self-worth and social physique anxiety. Controlling for age and sex, multiple and logistic regression analyses supported our hypotheses by showing self-determined motivation (i.e. intrinsic motivation and identified regulation) to predict more adaptive behavioural, cognitive and physical self-evaluation patterns than external regulation and amotivation. Introjected regulation was related to both adaptive and maladaptive outcomes. Furthermore, a multivariate analysis of variance revealed that exercisers in the maintenance stage of change displayed significantly more self determined motivation to exercise than those in the preparation and action stages. The results illustrate the importance of promoting self-determined motivation in exercisers to improve the quality of their experiences, as well as to foster their exercise behaviour. Future research should examine the mechanisms that promote self-determined motivation in exercise
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