EXERCISING TOGETHER©— an OHSU study opportunity

EXERCISING TOGETHER©— an OHSU study opportunity


We’re scratching our heads figuring out, “Wait a minute, we’re supposed to be going to an exercise class and we’re learning
more about who we are as people than we are about our bodies.” But at the same
time, I’m down 40, 42 pounds and down four pant sizes. My core strength
is incredible. I can feel my waist! Hi, I’m Kerri Winters-Stone. I’m
an exercise scientist and a professor at Oregon Health & Science University and
I study exercise medicine. I’m here to tell you about an exciting study
opportunity for couples coping with cancer that could change cancer care. If
you’ve gone through cancer and your partner’s been at your side through your
diagnosis and your treatment, you know that it’s a stressful time for both of
you. Cancer affects each partner’s physical
and mental health and puts a strain on their relationship. It’s like a triple
threat, but we know that if couples can find a way to positively cope with
cancer, they can keep themselves healthier together. Unfortunately there
are no existing programs that address the physical, mental and relationship
strain of cancer all at once. But we know that exercise can help partners feel
better. And if couples exercise together, we can help them function better as a
team. Having conversations about where we’re at and making sure that we’re taking care of each other. We’re
helping each other out. I never thought that would happen lifting
weights. No, it just never came together. No, I hate exercise, it’s always just been – I hate it! And yet I don’t know, I don’t hate it anymore.
We’ve received 2.5 million dollar grant from the National Cancer
Institute to study how exercise can help couples cope with cancer. The Exercising Together trial is a clinical trial that compares the benefits of three different
types of exercise programs for couples coping with cancer. The programs differ
in whether or not couples train together or separately, whether or not
they exercise with a group or on their own at home. While we know that exercise
is good for everybody, we want to learn whether or not how we deliver exercise
to couples makes a difference. If you participate in the Exercising Together
trial, you’ll be asked to exercise twice a week for half a year. We’ll also ask
you to come in for assessments four times throughout the course of a year.
Right now we’re enrolling couples coping with prostate, breast or colorectal
cancer. On an altruistic level, your participation in Exercising Together
can improve cancer care for couples. On an individual level, you’ll have access
to professionally designed and delivered exercise programs for half a year –
programs that we believe will get you and your partner on track toward
lifelong activity and health. When you have a support group and people who care
that’ll get on the floor with you and sweat with you, trying to help you learn
how to make your body stronger so you can have a fighting chance,
it’s amazing. It’s just amazing. The long-term goal of my research at OHSU is
to make a compelling case that exercise should be included as standard of care
for every patient with cancer. But we want partners to be included too, because we
know they’re also affected by cancer and that by keeping couples healthy we
achieve the best outcomes for everyone. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing
it is. You feel better, you’re better as a couple, you have
people who get it. That’s, really – people who get it. By participating in
Exercising Together, you can help us reach this goal. If you would like more
information on the Exercising Together trial, please contact us here.