There are a lot of insights coming from three major exercise intervention studies. The studies, presented by exercise physiologist Dr. Kathryn Schmitz are the findings of Dr. Anne McTiernan (she was sick), whose goal is to better understand how aerobic interventions affect signs of cancer in the body in middle aged to older adults.
Here’s a great one: Women meet 80% of their exercise goal, and it doesn’t matter what the goal is – high or low.
Other conclusions from the studies: gender matters. We don’t know why yet, said Dr. Schmitz, but men and women show different results. And also, people need a good pair of sneakers.
The day before his presentation on physical activity and cancer prevention, AICR grantee Henry Thompson, PhD, of Colorado State University shared his thoughts about what makes the AICR Research Conference unique, and how meetings like ours can spark new ways of scientific thinking.
Here’s what the science shows: physical activity reduces cancer risk independent of body weight. So, what’s going on, asked Henry Thompson, PhD, a researcher at Colorado State University.
Dr. Thompson spoke energetically about the possible compounds that may be released when muscles contract and the effects of these compounds on cancer development.
One of the more interesting findings: more is not necessarily better. Extrapolating from his lab’s animal studies, if you were to use the health recommendation of 30 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity, there was definite protection in the 50-60 minute range. When they went much above that, said Dr. Thompson, they saw a loss of some of that activity.
Even with all its benefits, Dr. Thompson reminded us that physical activity is a “stress” on the body. And to reinforce just how challenging this research area is, he points out that even rats and mice react differently to stress.