J Adv Res. 2017 Jan;8(1):7-12
Exercises are often recommended for patients suffering from anemia to improve physical conditioning and hematologic parameters. Hence, the present study aimed to investigate the impact of moderate intensity aerobic exercise on chemotherapy-induced anemia. Thirty elderly women with breast cancer underwent chemotherapy and were randomly assigned into two equal groups; Group A received aerobic exercise for 25-40 min at 50-70% of the maximum heart rate, 3 times/week for 12 weeks in addition to usual daily living activities, medication and nutritional support. Group B who did not train served as controls. Hemoglobin (Hb), and red blood cell count (RBCs) were evaluated pre-treatment and after 12 weeks of training. There were significant declines of both Hb (t = 16.30; P < 0.001) and RBCs (t = 10.38; P < 0.001) in group B relative to group A. Regarding group A, Hb increased from 11.52 ± 0.62 to 12.10 ± 0.59 g/dL with a 5.03% change, while RBCs increased from 4.24 ± 0.37 to 4.49 ± 0.42 million cells/μL with a 5.89% change. Between-group differences were noteworthy regarding Hb (t = -5.34; P < 0.001) and RBCs (t = -5.314; P < 0.001). The results indicate that regular participation in moderate intensity aerobic exercise can enhance chemotherapy-induced anemia.