Physical activation model to facilitate body cleansing of radioactive isotopes

Associate Professor, PhD A.V. Meshcheryakov1
PhD V.V. Vavilov1
1Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University named after I.N. Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: physical activity, organism, radioactive effects, post-radiation rehabilitation, health, physical state optimization.

Background. Presently the national statistics report a few regions suffering from increased levels of radiation that are, in some cases, in excess of the upper permissible levels. In addition, many jobs are exposed to contacts with different sources of radioactivity. The post-radiation rehabilitation theory and practice imply that the radioisotopes removal process may be facilitated by a high-intensity physical activity with the body oxygenation and metabolic process activation in cells and tissues in the aerobic conditions. It should be mentioned, however, that the still limited knowledge of the biophysical and physiological adaptation mechanisms and the ways to effectively protect body from radioactivity, plus often negligent attitudes to the known medical, biological, bio-energy, metabolic and other important processes that may speed up the body cleansing of radioactive isotopes – are among the reasons for inefficiency of the efforts to protect inhabitants of the radioactive zones. As a result, the health standards and working capacity rates are reportedly on the fall in virtually every age group in such zones.

The relevant research and medical literature spell out negative effects of radioactivity on human body – that need to be addressed by efficient rehabilitation programs ‘to improve the somatic health standards and physical condition’. These programs are largely driven by a hypothesis that the evacuation of radioisotopes may be facilitated by ‘the increased metabolism with mobilization of every secretion system’. Specialists tend to believe that such activation ‘of the physical life parameters will largely facilitate removal of radioactive isotopes’. High-intensity physical activity on the whole and habitual physical practices of special design in particular are believed to strengthen the individual adaptation to stressors, mobilize the individual resources (activate the tissues, organs, bodily functions and systems) to allow people effectively and efficiently operate in  radioactively contaminated zones.

Objective of the study was to provide the theoretical and practical provisions for the special physical education systems to optimize the physicality, improve somatic health standards and physical working capacity of the population in the Chernobyl radiation trace areas.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was designed to test by an experiment the above physical activation hypothesis, with 29-40 years old people of different specialties sampled for the experiment and offered different popular forms of physical activity traditional for the modern physical education, sports and recreation models including: (1) traditional physical conditioning practices (TPCP); (2) cyclic physical activity, e.g. track races, swimming, cycling, skiing etc. collectively referred to herein as the health/ rehabilitation physical activity (HRPA); (3) adapted fitness practices i.e. cyclic aerobic rhythmic gymnastics (CARG); (4) speed-strength-intensive athletic gymnastics (SSIAG); and (5) team sports i.e. active game practices (football, handball, basketball etc.) - AGP.

Results and discussion. As demonstrated by a theoretical analysis, the external radiation in the Chernobyl radiation trace areas is 97% dominated today by Cesium-137 with the melting point of only 28.5°С – that means that this radioisotope is readily dissolved in bodily liquids to  evenly infiltrate the whole body, albeit it is fast removed by kidneys, respiration system and with sweat. This is the reason why the modern post-radiation rehabilitation models offer different aerobic physical practices for effective physical activation and therapy with a special emphasis on the sweating effects and special hygienic measures. These body cleansing effects may be achieved by daily active physical practices (within the popular Physical Education service system) dominated by the aerobic ones, with the special hygienic actions including, e.g. sauna and other efficient and versatile rehabilitation tools.

As far as the muscle contraction biochemistry is concerned, it is well known that ‘there is a linear correlation between the ATF splitting speed in the working muscles and tissue respiration increment, with the oxygen demand growing with the physical exercise intensity/ power’ [3]. This growth of the oxygen demand is limited only by the maximal blood supply to the working organs. When the physical exercise intensity grows further and cannot be fully covered by the oxygen supply, the phosphates need to be re-synthesized, and this process mobilizes anaerobic processes to activate the glycolysis. The linear correlation between the oxygen demand and the physical exercise intensity gives way to more complicated correlations in this case.

Practical efficiency of the above mentioned classified physical practices (with 9 month trainings in every round) and the individual physical fitness rates were tested versus the maximal oxygen demand and actual physical working capacity rates generated by the standard PWC170 test. Given in Table 1 hereunder are the partial test data.

Table 1. Oxygen demand by the classified physical practices

Test stages

Physical practice






27,3 ± 8,2

29,5 ± 3,8

Progress tests

27,6 ± 9,2

46,2 ± 6,5

Expressed positive variations of the individual aerobic capacities were found only in the health jogging and team sports (active game) groups, with the physical practices geared to build up the overall endurance by prolonged trainings. The 9-month progress tests found a meaningful growth (р<0.05) of the aerobic working capacity with meaningful reduction of the body mass and fat mass and growth of the aerobic efficiency, with the maximal oxygen demand tested to meaningfully grow from 29.5 to 46,2 ml/kg/min. The athletic gymnastics group was even tested with some fall in the maximal oxygen demand (MOD) from 39.5 to 37.0 ml/kg/min – mostly for account of the muscle mass growth.

When it comes to the practical recommendations based on the functionality tests (including MOD), the key parameter is the bodily adaptability to high physical workloads. Since the bodily responses to classified physical practices is the only criterion to judge whether they are beneficial or not, the physical progress and cardio-respiratory system functionality tests shall be given a high priority in the decision making. Generally it is the working capacity that may be used as one of the most objective physical/ somatic health and body functionality rating criteria.

We have proceeded from the assumption that the post-radiation mass rehabilitation projects geared to cleanse body from the ‘excessive radioisotopes’ shall take benefits from the ‘high oxygenation’ effects of the special sets of therapeutic physical exercises to step up the individual aerobic capacities.

Practical benefits of the post-radiation rehabilitative physical practices were due, as we believe, to the training of respiratory bodily functions with the increased oxygen demand associated with the high training effects achieved by the 6-8 minute, and with the oxygenation-regime physical activity geared to secure: (1) at least 10–12 min of the relatively high- (sub-maximal) intensity aerobic activity; (2) 15–20 min middle-intensity training; or (3) 20–25 min extensive and mostly cyclic physical activity [3].  

It should be also mentioned that the aerobic-to-anaerobic energy generation ratio in the total ‘oxygen demand for the rehabilitative physical work’ would vary with the growing training time (with the natural intensity sag) from 5:1 (8:1) for the high/ sub-maximal-intensity cyclic work; to 3.5:1 for the middle-intensity work; and to 2:1 for the extensive work mode. This was the key assumption for our theoretical and practical provisions for the frame practical recommendations on how the post-radiation mass rehabilitation projects should be designed and managed in the Chernobyl radiation trace areas within the Ulyanovsk Oblast.

Conclusion. Based on the study data and analyses, we would offer a sort of ‘practical determinants’ for the post-radiation rehabilitative physical activity model geared to mobilize the individual physical resource for the ‘individual morphological-functional excellence agenda’ to help every individual effectively adapt to the environmental challenges. These practical determinants shall govern the design of the practical health rehabilitation physical training models with their provisions, tools, methods and practical technologies applicable for the whole period of exposure to radiation in every individual lifecycle.


  1. Meshcheryakov A.V., Razumovskiy E.A., Zhevnerov V.A. et al. Radiatsionny gormezis i stepen ego vozdeystviya na organizm [Radiation hormesis and its impact on the body]. Aktualnye problemy biokhimii i bioenergetiki sporta XXI veka [Actual problems of biochemistry and bioenergy of sports of the XXI century]. Proc. nat. res.-practical internet conf. with intern. participation (Moscow, April 10-26, 2017) Moscow: RSUPESYT (SCOLIPE), 2017, pp. 352-355.
  2. Meshcheryakov A.V., Razumovsky E.A., Epov O.G. et al. K voprosu o mediko-biologicheskikh osnovakh adaptatsii cheloveka k spetsificheskim usloviyam sredy. Aktualnye problemy biokhimii i bioenergetiki sporta XXI veka [Biomedical principles of human adaptation to specific environmental conditions. Actual problems of biochemistry and bioenergy of sports of the XXI century]. Proc. nat. res.-practical internet conf. with Intern. participation (Moscow, 10-26 April 20177). Moscow: RSUPESYT (SCOLIPE), 2017. pp. 179-184.
  3. Newsholme E., Start K. Regulyatsiya metabolizma [Regulation of metabolism]. Moscow: Mir, 1977. 180 p.
  4. Izrael Y.A. [ed.] Radiatsionnye aspekty Chernobyilskoy avarii [Radiation aspects of Chernobyl accident] Proc. I All-Union. Conf., Obninsk, June 1988: In 2 v.. Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring. St. Petersburg: Gidrometeoizdat, 1993, v. 2, 398 p.

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Most of the study reports and practical instructions on post-radiation rehabilitation demonstrate that the general physical and somatic health and physical activity may be critical for success of the post-radiation rehabilitation projects. The study offers a new post-radiation rehabilitation model giving a special priority to the physical activation required to improve the body oxygenation by aerobic trainings, mobilize healthy metabolic processes in cells and tissues and thereby facilitate removal of radioactive isotopes. The new post-radiation rehabilitation model was tested in the Ulyanovsk Oblast, in the area of the Chernobyl radiation trace where more than 100 thousand people live today. Cesium-137 with its 28.5°С melting point is known to be removed by kidneys, respiration system and with sweat. The new post-radiation rehabilitation model offers a set of aerobic physical practices for effective physical activation and therapy with a special emphasis on the sweating effects and special hygienic measures. The national research community shall give a special attention to the theoretical and practical provisions for the special physical education systems to optimize the physicality, improve somatic health and physical working capacity of the population in the Chernobyl radiation trace areas.