You are here:

You are here

» Exercise Speeds Healing in Aged and Obese Mice

Exercise Speeds Healing in Aged and Obese Mice

Failure to heal wounds in a timely fashion can lead to serious infection, morbidity and mortality. Older adults and people who are obese demonstrate a reduced ability to heal wounds and suffer disproportionately. This is unfortunate because older adults and those who are overweight or obese are increasing exponentially in the population. Strategies aimed at speeding wound healing could be of great benefit to these at-risk populations. Two studies published from Dr. Jeff Woods’ lab suggest that exercise may be of benefit to the healing of skin wounds. In the first study published in the American Journal of Physiology (294: R179, 2008), the Woods group exercise aged mice for 5 days prior to and 3 days after cutaneous wounding and found that this regimen led to increased healing rate relative to sedentary older mice. Moreover, they found that wounds from the exercised mice displayed lower measures of inflammation. In the second study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (44: 1846, 2012), using the same protocol, they found similarly that exercise sped wound healing in mice made obese by a high-fat diet. In this case, there were no exercise-induced differences in wound inflammation. The differences in inflammation between the studies are unclear as is information as to whether similar exercise ‘pre-habilitation’ studies would work in aged or obese people undergoing wounds as a consequence of surgery. The potential is there based upon these pre-clinical data, however clinical studies in people have not yet been performed.