Exercise increases oxidative stress, leading the body to strengthen its antioxidant defenses, thus reducing the incidence of major diseases. As these associations are relatively unclear for ordinary levels of exercise for reduced stress, this study evaluated the effects of different exercise conditions on diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites (d-ROMs), biological antioxidant potential (BAP), and subjective mood. Forty-nine students (22.4 ± 2.6 years) were assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) before and after exercising for 60 min. Participants were divided into two groups: Group A engaged in compulsory sports and Group B in freely chosen sports. d-ROMs and BAP were measured, and their modified ratio was calculated as an index of antioxidant potential. Physiological evaluation showed significant improvements in BAP and the BAP/d-ROMs ratio, irrespective of exercise condition (p < 0.001, p < 0.01). Comparison between the exercise conditions revealed a significant difference in the modified ratio (p < 0.02). In mood assessment, scores on emotion-related scales without vigor improved significantly under both exercise conditions (p < 0.001). Mental changes were evident after exercise, and potential antioxidant capacity was higher in freely chosen sports (p < 0.03). Assessment of antioxidant status before and after exercise may provide an objective index of mental and physical conditioning.
Keywords: exercise psychology; measurement; mental health; sport psychology; sports.