June 7, 2013

For the Love of Soccer in Men with T2D

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soccerA recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that soccer improves a number of factors in T2D control for men with the disease.

Men with T2D have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease which is worsened by physical inactivity. Subclinical myocardial dysfunction is associated with increased risk of heart failure and impaired prognosis in T2DM; however, it is not clear if exercise training can counteract the early signs of diabetic heart disease.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of soccer training on cardiac function, exercise capacity and blood pressure in middle-aged men with T2D.

Twenty-one middle-aged men were evaluated for control of T2D, assessing them for cardiovascular disease. Some of the men participated in a soccer training group that trained 1 hour twice a week or a control group, with no change in lifestyle.

All participants were tested with an echocardiography, measurements of blood pressure, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and endurance capacity before and after 12 and 24 wks.

After 24 wks of soccer training, left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic diameter and volume were increased 25% compared to baseline. Left ventricle enddiastolic diameter is the most important measurement for heart health.

VO2max and endurance capacity was 12% and 42% higher, respectively. No changes in any of the measured parameters were observed in the control group.

As it is a worldwide favorite, and especially popular in the European neck of the woods,  soccer training improves cardiac function, increases exercise capacity and lowers blood pressure in men with T2DM.

It’s true: Give a man a soccer ball, he plays for a moment. Teach a man to play soccer, he plays for a life time. If the man has T2D, there’s a very good chance the man will live a longer, healthier life!

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