Effect of Yoga or Physical Exercise on Muscle Function in Rural Indian Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Sonal Kasture Department of Growth and Pediatric Endocrinology, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
School of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

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Anuradha Khadilkar Department of Growth and Pediatric Endocrinology, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
School of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

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Raja Padidela Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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Ketan Gondhalekar Department of Growth and Pediatric Endocrinology, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

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Radhika Patil Department of Physiotherapy, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

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Vaman Khadilkar Department of Growth and Pediatric Endocrinology, Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute, Jehangir Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
School of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

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Background: Synergistic effects of yoga or physical exercise (PE) along with protein supplementation on children’s muscle function in rural India have not been studied. Hence, we aimed to study the effect of yoga and PE along with protein supplementation on muscle function in healthy 6- to 11-year-old rural Indian children post 6 months of intervention. Methods: A randomized controlled trial on 232 children, recruited into 3 groups, each receiving 1 protein-rich ladoo (148 kcal, 7 g protein/40 g ladoo–an Indian sweet snack) daily and performing (1) yoga (n = 78) for 30 minutes 5 times per week, (2) PE (n = 76) for 30 minutes 5 times per week, or (3) control group (n = 78) no additional exercise. Maximum power, maximum voluntary force (Fmax), and grip strength (GS) were measured. Data were analyzed using paired t tests and a 2-way mixed analysis of variance with post hoc Bonferroni adjustment. Results: GS, maximum power, and Fmax within yoga group increased significantly (P < .05) from baseline to endline. GS and Fmax increased significantly within PE group postintervention (P < .001). In controls, GS increased (P < .05) at endline. No significant effect of the intervention was observed on the change in maximum power (P > .05) postintervention. The 2 exercise groups showed significant increase in Fmax compared with the control group (P < .05). Similarly, increase in GS was significantly higher in both the exercise groups compared with the control group (P < .05). No significant difference was observed in change in muscle function between the 2 exercise groups (P > .05). Conclusions: Structured physical activity along with protein supplementation resulted in improved muscle function in children. Yoga and PE showed a comparable impact on muscle force.

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