Author(s): Millar AL, Fernhall B, Burkett LN
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects that aerobic training has on adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Fourteen individuals with Down syndrome (mean age = 17.7 yr) participated in a 10-wk walking/jogging exercise training study. A pre- and post-training walking treadmill test was performed to determine the following parameters: peak oxygen uptake (VO2, absolute and relative), minute ventilation (VE, l.min-1), heart rate HR, b.min-1), RER (VCO2/VO2), and time and grade to exhaustion. Following the pre-training evaluations, subjects were assigned to a control group (N = 4) or an exercise group (N = 10). The exercise group underwent a 10-wk walk/jog training program at a frequency of 3 times per week, for a duration of 30 min, and at an intensity of approximately 65-75% peak HR. Following training, both control and experimental groups showed no changes in peak VO2 (absolute and relative), VE, HR, and RER. The exercise group, however, did demonstrate a significant improvement in peak exercise time (and grade). Although the training program did not produce improvements in aerobic capacity, it did produce gains in walking capacity. It was concluded that the adolescents and young adults may not be able to improve their aerobic capacity when performing a walk/jog training program.