Background and aims: This study is a randomized trial that examined the effects of 6 months of unsupervised Nordic walking (NW) and walking (W) exercise following 6 months of supervised training in overweight/obese adults. Methods and results: After a 6-month program of diet and supervised training participants (n = 27) of NW (66 ± 7 yrs, body mass index (BMI) 34 ± 5) and W (66 ± 8 yrs, BMI 32 ± 5) group continue the training without supervision for other 6 months. Steps count and mean heart rate (HRmean) were performed in each session; anthropometric and body composition, aerobic capacity and strength of the upper and lower limbs were evaluated at baseline, after 6 months of supervised and 6 months of unsupervised training. In the unsupervised training, monthly sessions and steps count decreased over time in both groups (p < 0.05), with no significant changes in HRmean. Compared to the supervised phase, adherence decreased significantly only in the W group in the last 3 months of unsupervised training. Compared to baseline in both groups BMI did not change, but W group lost total fat; only the NW group maintained (p < 0.05) the gains in arm curl (33%) and chair stand (31%); both groups improved in six-minute walking test (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Despite unsupervised training was not effective for a further increase in performance, participants, especially in NW, maintained some of the improvements achieved during the supervision. However, the presence of instructor that guides training, may enhance adherence and health benefits of NW and W exercise. Clinical trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT03212391 (July 11, 2017).
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