Effects of Aerobic Conditioning and Strength Training on a Child with Down Syndrome: A Case Study

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Purpose:To determine the effects of a home exercise program of combined aerobic and strength training on fitness with a 10.5-year-old girl with Down syndrome (DS). Measurements included cardiovascular variables, strength, body composition, flexibility, and skill.Methods:The subject participated in a home exercise program: 30 to 60 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity exercise five to six days per week for six weeks. The cardiovascular variables monitored were heart rate, respiration rate, and oxygen consumption during a submaximal treadmill stress test. Other measures included 10-repetition maximal strength of selected muscle groups, body mass index, flexibility, Gross Motor Scales of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, and anaerobic muscle power.Results:Improvements in submaximal heart and respiration rates, aerobic performance, muscle strength and endurance, gross motor skills, and anaerobic power were observed for this subject. Body weight and flexibility were unchanged.Conclusions:For this subject, a combined aerobic and strength-training program resulted in improved cardiopulmonary functions not observed in previous studies of subjects with DS.

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