Everyone knows that working out has long-term positive effects on your physical and mental health and an overall improvement on your general well-being. However, did you know that each workout can have a direct effect on your body’s ability to attack cancerous cells and stop the further spreading of tumors?
Christine Dethlefsen, a graduate student working under Dr. Bente Klarlund Pedersen of the University of Copenhagen, wanted to learn more about the direct effects of an individual workout on cancerous cells. She decided to conduct an experiment to see how much an individual workout affects a patient. She incubated cancer cells with blood pulled from patients after a two-hour acute exercise session during their weeks-long course of chemotherapy. She then compared that sample to cancer cells incubated with blood pulled from patients at rest (who have been living an active life for the past six months but didn’t complete a workout). The experiment revealed that blood obtained following an exercise session reduced the cultured cancer cells’ ability to multiply and showed cancer-fighting effects, while blood drawn at rest had no effect.
Dr. Bente Klarlund Pedersen noted that, “this data suggests that cancer-fighting effects are driven by repeated acute exercise, and each bout matters. In Dethlefsen’s study, incubation with serum (blood) obtained after a single bout of exercise (consisting of 30 minutes of warm-up, 60 minutes of resistance training, and a 30-minute high-intensity interval spinning session) reduced breast cancer cell viability by only 10 to 15 percent compared with control cells incubated with serum obtained at rest. But a reduction in tumor cell viability by 10 to 15 percent several times a week may add up to clinically significant inhibition of tumor growth. Indeed, in a separate study, my colleagues and I found that daily, voluntary wheel running in mice inhibits tumor progression across a range of tumor models and anatomical locations, typically by more than 50 percent.”
Getting on your feet and getting active consistently while battling a chronic illness like cancer is no easy feat. However, it is something research is starting to show could have life-saving results. So, what are you waiting for?
Get active. Get on cancer’s NURV. We’re here to help.
The full article published by Dr. Bente Klarlund Pedersen can be found here.