Although there are medications and surgical procedures available for patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease, these aren’t always the best way of managing existing PAD in a patient. Instead, most turn to exercise regimens that help free up their blood pathways and manage symptoms of claudication (pain or numbness in the legs and feet.)
What is the best workout to manage for PAD? Let’s break it down below.
First, let’s introduce a tried and tested workout routine written up by a Dr. Mohler. Who is well known for his studies in supervised treadmill exercises and home-based exercises for those with Peripheral Arterial Disease. In his studies, he discovered, that the best way to get results from your scheduled walking program is to follow the steps as they are listed below:
- Step 1: Warm Up
Just like with any good workout, a warmup is required before you jump into the main event. This doesn’t have to be extensive to start. You can sit or stand as you stretch your calf and thigh muscles for (both legs) around 10 to 15 seconds.
- Step 2: The Walk
Next, it’s time for the actual walk. Of course, the amount you’ll be able to walk is different from everyone else. However, it is recommended that you walk through mild pain — as this will help you grow tolerance and increase your mobility.
Start with pushing your pain tolerance about 5 minutes (or until the pain gets too much) at a time.
- Step 3: Rest
After the first five minutes has passed, now would be a good time to rest. Have a seat, catch your breath, and allow yourself to relax until the pain goes away.
- Step 4: Repeat
As you have probably guessed, these steps are meant to be repeated.
Of course, take it at your own pace (or perhaps have a doctor draw up a plan for you.) Just make sure that you continue the walk and rest method and build up slowly to around 30 to 35 minutes. The goal here is to extend your tolerance to about 50 minutes of walk time – just make sure to take the build-up to 50 minutes as slow as you want or need to be (over weeks or months if need be.)
- Step 5: The Cool Down
Your workout doesn’t stop when you finish exerting yourself. You’ll also have to cool down.
This is an important step followed even by professional athletes in order to relax their muscles after a good and long game. For this, simply repeat the stretches that you do in step one — by stretching your calf and thigh muscles once more.
Conclusion — Best Workout to Manage for PAD
Of course, the workout planning won’t necessarily stop there. Depending on your capabilities, PAD is not something that you should stop trying to manage. There is no cure for this disease, but the workout set-up above is a good way of making sure that it isn’t as intense as it could be.
You’ll have to stick to it, build-up your walk-time, increase the difficulty, etc.
It all goes into making sure that you’re not stuck with the more debilitating symptoms of this condition. Allowing you a semblance of control that you might have never had gotten otherwise.
- Murphy, Timothy P, et al. “Supervised Exercise versus Primary Stenting for Claudication Resulting from Aortoiliac Peripheral Artery Disease: Six-Month Outcomes from the Claudication: Exercise versus Endoluminal Revascularization (CLEVER) Study.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090168.