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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 April;56(4):352-8

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Effects of a swimming program on infants’ heart rate response

Mário J. COSTA 1, 4, Tiago M. BARBOSA 2, 4, Alberto RAMOS 3, Daniel A. MARINHO 2, 3

1 Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Guarda, Portugal; 2 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; 3 University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal; 4 Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, CIDESD, Vila Real, Portugal


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BACKGROUND: The physiological response has been used to characterize or estimate physical demands while exercising. The aim of this study was to analyze the infant’s physiological adaptations over an intervention water program.
METHODS: Fourteen infants (36±5.08 months old) were tested before (M1) and 4 months after (M2) a well-designed swimming program aiming to develop aquatic readiness, cognitive behavior and social interaction. The physiological response was assessed based on heart rate measurements (HR, bpm) at a sampling rate of 1 Hz during several basic aquatic motor skills: 1) individual displacement in ventral position (HR@InD); 2) Individual displacement in vertical position (HR@VD); 3) immersion (HR@Im); 4) voluntary underwater displacement (HR@UnD); 5) jump from the deck (HR@JD); 6) jump from the swimming mat (HR@JM); 7) from a swimming slider (HR@Sli).
RESULTS: The HR@Im showed the lowest values (~119 bpm) at the end of the program. Main trend was for a HR decreased over time (HR@Im: -14.17±17.76%; HR@InD: -8.16±9.16%; HR@JD: -10.36±12.70%; HR@Sli: -3.48±6.40%. In all other skills, HR remained unchanged.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that infants experience significant hear rate adaptations while participating on a swimming program. The HR decreases suggests a higher capability to perform the basic aquatic motor skills and a less stressful behavior through the lessons.

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mario.costa@ipg.pt