Enrollment now open for free CAPABLE fitness sessions for cancer survivors

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is looking for cancer survivors to participate in 12 weeks of physical activity classes for free. These classes are offered as part of a clinical trial exploring how exercise improves quality of life for cancer survivors. Enrollment is open to 20 cancer survivors in Detroit and 20 in the Petoskey area for the Cross-Training and Physical Activity: A Better Life Experience (CAPABLE) study.

The American Cancer Society recommends cancer survivors avoid inactivity and resume their normal activities after a diagnosis as soon as their doctor deems it safe. They also recommend survivors exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, including strength training.

“I created the CAPABLE protocol because I believe in the impact that exercise has on wellness, both physically and mentally,” said Jennifer Beebe-Dimmer, Ph.D., MPH, leader of the Population Studies and Disparities Research (PSDR) Program, scientific director of the Epidemiology Research Core at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit and professor in the Department of Oncology at the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine. “CAPABLE teaches survivors how to meet these exercise and strength-training recommendations and helps them gain fitness skills they can use well beyond the classes.”

CAPABLE classes include interval training, strength and conditioning workouts made of simple movements performed at scalable levels for each participant. At the beginning and end of the 12 weeks, researchers will have the survivors participate in functional testing to measure strength, cardiovascular fitness and body composition. Survivors will also complete surveys three times throughout the study. Previous exercise experience is not necessary to participate. Survivors will receive a $100 gift card at the end of the study for their participation.

For the sessions in Detroit, Karmanos is partnering with the WSU School of Medicine and Gilda’s Club at the Durfee Innovation Society. Classes are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7 – 8 p.m. beginning Thursday, April 13, 2023.

In Petoskey, Karmanos is partnering with McLaren Northern Michigan and CrossFit® Petoskey. Classes take place Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. beginning Monday, May 8, 2023.

Cancer survivors can visit karmanos.org/capable to register. For questions, contact the project coordinator, Tara Baird, at 313-578-4246 or email CAPABLE@wayne.edu.

Co-leading the study with Dr. Beebe-Dimmer is Hayley Thompson, Ph.D., associate center director of Community Outreach and Engagement, and faculty supervisor of the Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement (OCHECE).