A Structured Online Training Program Has More Health Benefits Than You May Think – runnersworld.com

Anyone who has ever searched on Google for strategies on improving nutrition or getting faster would need a few lifetimes to parse through the advice those queries return. But there does seem to be a more targeted and beneficial way to use online tools to learn about those goals, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, focused on the impact of a web-based exercise and nutritional education program for 105 people who were obese with hypertension. About half were part of a control group that received usual medical care without any online education programs.

The other half received medical care, but also worked through a self-administered online program for three months, which included education on healthy lifestyle choices, daily habit changes, behavioral issues that could cause challenges, and reinforcement of progress. They also received a list of recommend foods and advice for physical activity.

Nine months after the interventions were complete, researchers took a look at the participants health markers. The people who used the online program showed a significant decrease in body fat mass, body mass index (BMI), and blood glucose levelsa measure used to determine risk of developing diabetes. They also showed considerable increases in functional capacity for aerobic exercise, as well as lower blood pressure.

By contrast, the participants who didnt use the online program went in the other direction, with significant increases in BMI and blood glucose.

The results for those using the online program were so notable that all of the people in the control group were subsequently offered the educational material once the study was complete, lead researcher Juan Francisco Lison, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Medicine at Cardenal Herrera University in Spain told Runners World.

Whats the takeaway for those who arent fortunate enough to be part of a lifestyle intervention study? That structure and pacing really do matter when it comes to making changes like getting more activity and eating healthier.

[Run faster, stronger, and longer with this 360-degree training program.]

Each of the first five modules in the study were activated a week apart and the last three were activated two weeks apart, Lison said. That gave participants time to absorb the material, put it into practice, and do some homework before new material became available.

Simple strategies can easily be incorporated into daily living in a cost-effective and scalable way, and it can empower people with education about health, said Lison. That increases confidence and encourages them to manage their habits.

In other words, step away from the Internet search firehose and find a more structured program insteadsuch as an online coaching or training programthat includes a number of beneficial behaviors and preferably stretches out over at least a few months. Doing so can not only improve your performance, but help you become a more well-rounded runner, too.

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A Structured Online Training Program Has More Health Benefits Than You May Think - runnersworld.com

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