You may feel a little overwhelmed if you have been diagnosed with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Don’t worry, though – we are here to help! This blog post will give you five tips for exercising safely and effectively with Peripheral Artery Disease. Follow these tips, and you will be on your way to living a healthier life!
As usual, make sure to first consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine!
Peripheral Artery Disease is when the arteries that supply blood to your limbs (peripheral arteries) become narrowed or blocked. This can cause symptoms such as leg pain when walking (claudication). Patients may feel mild pain with even short walking distances.
PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque comprises fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. If you have PAD, you may be wondering if it is safe for you to exercise. The good news is that, in most cases, exercise is safe and beneficial for people with PAD.
Studies show that exercise therapy improves blood flow and helps prevent plaque buildup in your arteries. It also helps to improve your overall cardiovascular health, reducing your risk of developing PAD or experiencing a heart attack or stroke.
Exercise therapy has even been shown to help relieve symptoms of PAD, such as pain, fatigue, and cramping. So, exercise is a great place to start if you are looking for ways to improve your PAD symptoms!
If you have been diagnosed with PAD, there are a few things you should keep in mind when starting any physical training program.
Walking is a great way to pump your heart and improve blood flow. Start with a slow walk, and gradually increase your speed as you are able. Walking is an excellent activity for people with the Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Don’t get too worried about your initial treadmill walking performance. The important thing in any exercise rehabilitation program is to start!
Patients with PAD have narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the extremities, leading to classic claudication symptoms such as pain, numbness, and cramping in the legs during physical activity. Walking is a low-impact activity that can help improve symptoms by increasing blood flow to the calf and thigh muscles.
It is essential to start slowly and gradually increase your pain-free walking distance and speed as you are able. There is no maximal walking distance; instead, go with what is comfortable, and if you are hesitant, speak to a physical therapist about supervised treadmill exercise.
A short walking therapy program like this one can help you get started:
Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise for patients with PAD. The water can help take some weight off your legs and reduce pain. Here is a short program for swimming with Peripheral Artery Disease:
Cycling is a great way to exercise without putting too much stress on your joints and improve lower extremity functioning. If you have access to a stationary bike, start with low resistance and increase as you can. For seniors, electric tricycles or recumbent bikes can be a great way to exercise for PAD without additional stress on joints.
Here’s a short program so start on a bike with PAD:
Remember to warm up before starting and cool down after you’re done. Cycling is an excellent workout for your legs, but it’s also low-impact so that it won’t aggravate your PAD symptoms.
People with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) often have reduced flexibility and increased stress. Yoga can help improve both of these conditions. Many different yoga poses can be beneficial for people with PAD. Some PAD exercises that can help improve flexibility include the following:
The Cat-Cow Pose: This pose helps to stretch the back and neck. It also helps to massage the spinal cord and relax the nervous system.
The Cobra Pose: This pose helps to stretch the chest, shoulders, and abdomen. It also helps to strengthen the back muscles.
The Triangle Pose: This pose helps to stretch the sides of the body and the hips. It also helps to open up the chest and lungs.
The Bridge Pose: This pose helps to stretch the back and chest. It also helps to strengthen the back muscles.
The Child’s Pose: This pose helps to calm the mind and relax the body. It is often used as a resting position between other yoga poses.
The Corpse Pose: This pose helps to relax the entire body deeply. It is often done at the end of a yoga practice.
Yoga can also help reduce stress by promoting relaxation.
Pilates is a type of exercise that focuses on strengthening the core muscles. This can help to improve balance and reduce pain. For people with Peripheral Artery Disease, there are some specific Pilates exercises that can be helpful.
PAD exercises involve movements that help to increase blood flow and circulation in the legs and feet. In addition, Pilates can help to reduce pain and swelling and improve range of motion.
In addition, PAD exercises can help strengthen the muscles around the hips and thighs, improving balance and stability.
If you have Peripheral Artery Disease, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program. But incorporating some specific Pilates exercises into your routine can significantly reduce pain and improve your overall health.