Adapted recreational football small-sided games improve cardiac capacity, body composition and muscular fitness in patients with type 2 diabetes

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2020 Sep;60(9):1261-1268. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10498-5. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Abstract

Background: The usefulness of adapted small-sided games (SSGs) in improving cardiac function in subjects with T2DM is still debated. Here we evaluated the effects of 18 weeks indoor muscular activation training (6 weeks; IMA) followed by adapted SSGs football training (12 weeks) on cardiac function, muscular fitness, body composition and adiponectin expression in sedentary T2DM volunteers.

Methods: Six T2DM patients underwent IMA protocol of 6 weeks, twice a week followed by 12 weeks SSGs (5-a-side, once a week) training. Glucose, lipid profile and serum homocysteine concentration, body composition (BC), bone mineral density (DEXA), were determined at baseline and after 18 weeks (IMA+SSGs). VO<inf>2max</inf> and muscular fitness were recorded at baseline and after IMA (6 weeks) and SSGs (12 weeks), respectively.

Results: No significant differences were found for VO<inf>2max</inf> and muscular fitness after 6weeks of IMA. After 18 weeks (6 weeks IMA + 12 weeks SSGs) of training, significant improvements were found in the following parameters: work capacity, VO<inf>2peak</inf>, Ventilation (VE<inf>peak</inf>), breathing reserve consumption and oxygen uptake efficiency slope (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; P<0.05). Compared to baseline, a reduction in serum homocysteine occurred after 18 weeks 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.