This following research belongs to :
Emery CF, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Glaser R, et al. Exercise accelerates wound healing among healthy older adults: a preliminary investigation. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 2005;60A(11)1432-1436.
As adults age, the body's ability to heal in a timely fashion decreases, which increases the risk of infection. Certain health behaviors appear to have an effect on wound healing and immune function. This is especially true of physical exercise, which has been shown to improve both immune and endocrine function, and to reduce the effects of psychological stress (which itself has been shown to influence wound healing).To determine the effects of fitness and exercise on wound healing and neuroendocrine function, scientists recruited 28 sedentary older adults (average age: 61.0 years) into an exercise group and a control group. Subjects in both groups received a small puncture wound on the back of the upper arm. One month before the wound procedure, patients in the exercise group began participating in an aerobic exercise program conducted three days per week for approximately one hour each day. Wounds were measured three times per week to calculate the rate of wound healing. Participants also completed assessments of endurance, salivary cortisol, and self-reported stress at baseline and at the conclusion of the study.
Results: Wound healing occurred at a significantly faster rate in the group that exercised (average 29.2 days) compared to the group that did not exercise (39.8 days). In addition, exercise participants "achieved significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness." Exercise patients also demonstrated a significant increase in cortisol secretion, which the researchers did not expect to occur. They hypothesized that the increased cortisol levels "may be associated with additional neuroendocrine and immune function changes relevant to the wound-healing process."
Conclusion: "This study demonstrates a beneficial effect of exercise activity on would-healing rates among healthy older adults. Moreover, exercise was associated with an enhanced neuroendocrine response among the exercise participants. ... From a practical perspective, the results provide empirical support for the relevance of considering exercise activity as a component of medical care among patients who have sustained dermal wounds or who are recovering from surgical procedures."