Background: The usefulness of adapted small-side games (SSGs) in improving cardiac function in subjects with T2DM is still debated. Here we evaluated the effects of 12weeks adapted SSGs football training on cardiac function, muscular fitness and adiponectin expression in sedentary T2DM volunteers. Methods: 6 T2DM patients underwent Indoor Muscular Activation training (IMA) protocol of 6 wks, 2/wk followed by 12 wks SSGs (5vs5; once a wk) training. Glucose, lipid profile and serum homocysteine concentration, Body Composition (BC), bone mineral density (DEXA), were determined at baseline and after 18wks (IMA+SSGs). VO2max and muscular fitness and serum adiponectin were recorded at baseline and after IMA (6wks) and SSGs (12 wks), respectively. Results: No significant differences were found for VO2max, adiponectin and muscular fitness after 6wks of IMA. After 18wks (6 wks IMA+ 12 wks SSGs) of training, significant improvements were found in the following parameters: work capacity, VO2peack, Ventilation (VEpeack), breathing reserve consumption and oxygen uptake efficiency (OUES) (p<0.05); leg fitness (p<0.05), BC (p<0.05), vertebral column T-score (p<0.01) and adiponectin (total and High Molecular Weight, HMW; p<0.05). Compared to baseline, a reduction in serum homocystein (Hcy) occurred after 18 wks of training (p<0.05). Conclusions: We evidenced that weekly adapted SSGs friendly football matches for 12 weeks improve cardiorespiratory capacity and the expression of independent markers associated with cardiovascular risk in T2DM patients, suggesting an overall reduced CVD-risk in these patients. These preliminary data encourage us to test the efficacy of this type of exercise in a larger population.
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