What’s This Research About?

It’s been shown that yoga improves quality of life (QOL) and flexibility for cancer survivors, but how does it affect specific fitness markers in breast cancer survivors? This study assessed specific fitness outcomes such as VOmax, strength, flexibility, BMI, and body fat. They also compared results from the yoga practice with two other different exercise programs.

TITLE: Effect of a six month yoga exercise intervention on fitness outcomes for breast cancer survivors.


PUBLICATION: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

DATE: October, 2015

AUTHORS : Daniel Hughes PhD, Nadia Darby, DPT, Krystle Gonzalez, BS, Terri Boggess PhD, Ruth Morris, MPH, Amelia Ramirez, DrPH

Comparison group (C): This group was allowed to choose their own exercise routine, but were encouraged to take classes offered by DIVA (Deriving Inspiration and Vitality through Activity). The DIVA program is a “self-referral program that offers support services for breast cancer survivors.” They offer various types of group exercise classes (strength training, Tai Chi, Zumba, etc.).

Comprehensive individualized exercise program (CE): A one-hour exercise routine that consisted of aerobic, resistance, and flexibility training.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): In sports and particularly exercise testing, the Borg RPE Scale measures perceived exertion. In medicine this is used to document the patient’s exertion during a test, and sports coaches use the scale to assess the intensity of training and competition. The RPE scale is used to measure the perceived intensity of your exercise and runs from 0 – 10. 

Sub maximal VO2 test: A sub-maximal graded exercise progression (according to ACSM guidelines) done on a cycle ergometer while recording O2 and heart rate values. VO2 max is then estimated using regression analysis with these values.

VO2: A measurement of Oxygen intake and use (ml O2/kg/min).

VO2max: A measurement of the highest amount of oxygen taken in and used during a maximal exertion test (usually on treadmills or cycle ergometers).

Yoga based exercise (YE): A one-hour Hatha yoga class which consisted of modified sun salutations, standing, seated, quadruped, supine, prone, and rotation postures, and 10 minutes of savasana at the end.

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