News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief - L. Bruce Gladden
Three papers in this month's journal particularly caught my attention. First, Mazzilli et al. investigated the relationship between weight lifting and 10 types of cancer. In total, more than 215,000 adults completed a questionnaire assessing time spent weight lifting and other lifestyle characteristics and were followed six years for cancer outcomes. Individuals who reported lifting weights had a 22%–25% lower risk of colon cancer, as compared with individuals who did no weight lifting. Risk of kidney cancer also appeared to be lower, but the association was only of borderline statistical significance. The associations to weight lifting were independent of participation in aerobic leisure-time physical activities. Overall, these results underscore the importance of resistance activity for health, even including possibly for cancer prevention.
Strenuous exercise-related acidosis may expose sickle cell disease (SCD) patients to risk factors (sickling and vaso-occlusive crises). In that context, these patients often avoid all forms of physical activity/exercise and are consequently exposed to a sedentary lifestyle and its deleterious consequences. Messonnier and colleagues proposed strategies for evaluation of SCD patients' physical ability and management of endurance exercises. No complications occurred during exercises with their proposed strategies. Knowing the importance of physical activity to counteract sedentary lifestyle-related complications and improve the quality of life, the results of this study suggest that in the future, endurance training programs might be considered as an element of therapeutic strategy for adult SCD patients.
Single bouts of exercise lead to large improvements in mood states in adults suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), yet the mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. In this issue, Meyer et al. uncovered relationships between improvements in mood states up to 30 minutes after moderate intensity steady-state exercise and increases in serum levels of the two primary endocannabinoids (anandamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG]) in women with MDD. Given previous studies linking a dysregulated endocannabinoid system with MDD, this report provides initial evidence that exercise-induced changes in endocannabinoids may play an important role in the effects of exercise on mood in MDD. While preliminary, these results contribute to the growing evidence connecting endocannabinoid functioning with the psychological effects of acute exercise.
L. Bruce Gladden
School of Kinesiology