Karmanos, WSU CAPABLE Program Seeks 20 Cancer Survivors for Free Fitness Classes in Petoskey

Cancer survivors encouraged to sign up before classes fill

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is partnering with Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine, CrossFit Petoskey and McLaren Northern Michigan to offer cancer survivors 12 weeks of physical activity classes. These free classes are provided as part of an exercise program introducing the sport of CrossFit to cancer survivors. The CAPABLE team seeks 20 cancer survivors to participate in the Cross-Training and Physical Activity: A Better Life Experience (CAPABLE) program. Previous exercise experience is not necessary to participate.

“We’ve been offering this class in Detroit for five years and have seen great success among cancer patients getting back into the groove of physical activity. This will be the second year we’ve teamed up with CrossFit Petoskey to offer this program in the area,” 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 and professor of Oncology at WSU. “Last year, our Petoskey participants were amazed by what they could do by the end of the 12 weeks; even just weeks after they started the program, they noticed a difference in their physical abilities.”

The American Cancer Society recommends cancer survivors avoid inactivity and resume their regular physical activities after a diagnosis as soon as their doctor deems it safe. They also recommend survivors exercise for 150-300 minutes weekly, including strength training. CAPABLE was designed to help survivors learn how to meet these exercise and strength-training recommendations and to teach fitness skills they can use well beyond the classes. In June 2023, Dr. Beebe-Dimmer and her research team published “The Impact of High Intensity Interval Training in a Diverse Group of Cancer Survivors: CAPABLE, A Pilot Study,” in Preventative Medicine. This study featured 48 cancer survivors who participated in CAPABLE.

“CAPABLE looks to improve outcomes for cancer survivors after treatment. CrossFit combines high-intensity interval and strength training. We look at a host of outcomes – everything from physical fitness and performance, body composition and we do blood draws to measure blood chemistry,” Dr. Beebe-Dimmer explained.

The strength and conditioning workouts are simple movements performed at scalable levels for each participant. Classes take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. starting Monday, June 3.

The exercise classes will be held at CrossFit Petoskey, 345 Division Rd., Petoskey, Michigan 49770. For questions, contact the CAPABLE team at 313-578-4246 or CAPABLE@wayne.edu. More information is available at teamcapable.org.