Part of the recovery process, for those who are afflicted with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), is to practice a healthier and more active lifestyle. That is why we’re going to be describing what the best exercises are for PAD down below! Most of these will be a quick overview of the exercises you might want to do. However, these won’t always work for everyone.
It all depends on your level of mobility and how much exercise you can handle. We do have three recommendations, ranging from the most difficult (simultaneously the most effective) and the easiest (for those who have the poorest level of lower extremity mobility.)
The first and most recommended exercise for PAD is walking. It might sound simplistic, but that really is all there is to it. Some physicians will recommend that you schedule supervised treadmill walking with a licensed physical therapist who can observe your progress. However, it is possible to work on this type of exercise by yourself so long as you set up a healthy routine.
According to Dr. Mohler, who studied the effect of supervised treadmill walking on patients with PAD, a good walking routine should help decrease the effects of negative symptoms that come with PAD. Especially when it comes to claudication (which is the sharp and numbing pain in your legs and feet that occurs after exercise.)
Now, if you’re also struggling with Hypertension, which is high blood pressure, you might prefer something a little more relaxing. For that, we have Yoga as our recommendation. This is based on recent studies that suggest that a steady Yoga routine can help prevent hypertension.
For a solid Yoga routine that you can follow, you can check out our “What Yoga Poses or Exercises to Improve Blood Circulation,” article which discusses (in more detail) how a Yoga routine can help you improve your blood circulation.
The last form of exercise that we can suggest, are arm exercises. These, although they might not appear as effective as actually stretching out your legs (which is the area most afflicted when you have PAD), are known to be very effective at helping those with poor lower mobility.
What is the point of this? Well, it’s all about opening your arteries — as exercising, in general, is very effective when it comes to expanding your arteries and pushing oxygen through your muscles (which can positively impact those with PAD.)
Conclusion — What are the Best Exercises for PAD?
As mentioned in the very beginning, these recommended exercises are just suggestions. Depending on the severity of your PAD, you might need more of one exercise than the other. If you really want to know what the best exercises are for you, then you should talk to a doctor and get a direct quote on what would best suit your capabilities.
- 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.
- Hagins, Marshall, et al. “Effectiveness of Yoga for Hypertension: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679769/.