The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is sponsoring and conducting a new exercise study at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, about cancer survivors that involves the use of a stationary bike.
Previous studies already show that cancer survivors after treatment may experience health risks, including psychological distress, decreased aerobic fitness, increase in body fat content, and other ailments affecting the physical body itself, according to a fact sheet on the study.
This exercise study will compare the benefits of Tai Chi versus stationary bike cycling (aerobic exercise) on cancer survivors who will participate in the 12-week study, aided by fitness experts and instructors.
Tai Chi Chuan (the formal name for this martial art form that derives from ancient Chinese medicine dating back to the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644) combines breathing exercises to create what the study refers to as "moving meditation." If you've heard of it, then you've probably read that it can improve a body's flexibility, muscle strength, balance, systolic blood pressure, cardio-respiratory fitness, and reduce psychological stress and symptoms of arthritis. Likewise, aerobic exercise, such as stationary cycling is known to improve cardiovascular fitness, decrease coronary risk, and lower cholesterol levels. Both exercises may benefit cancer survivors, but studies have never been conducted to compare the two.
It will be interesting to me and my own BIKE work to see the results of this study--not so much for the cancer survivor benefit but to see if the scientists see a mind-body connection in both exercises as I do. Since that's not what they're looking for, it could lead to yet another study.
If you have any thoughts about the mind-body connection or would like to share your own experience with this, please post a comment.
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