Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a chronic condition that involves blockages or narrowing in the arteries supplying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If you have this condition, your legs and feet do not receive sufficient blood, leading to symptoms such as pain and cramping. However, you can ease these symptoms by practicing simple exercises.
You can talk to your vein specialist to help you develop a customized workout plan that is suitable for persons suffering from PAD.
PAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis (plaque buildup on the artery walls). The plaque accumulation contains cholesterol and other fatty substances, restricting the healthy flow of blood to your legs. Your leg muscles will cramp painfully and become weaken if there are no essential nutrients and oxygen in your blood.
However, when you exercise, your blood circulation increases, encouraging the development of new, unclogged blood vessels. People with PAD can benefit from exercises that focus on moving the legs, such as walking, jogging, running, and cycling. Walking, especially, is the simplest yet best activity to relieve PAD symptoms.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
When you are about to exercise with PAD, make sure to warm up and cool down to avoid cramping and pain. Stretch your calf, thigh muscles, and legs before you begin biking, walking, swimming, or running. After completing your exercises, walk slowly for 4-5 minutes and stretch your calf and thigh muscles again to cool down.
Taking Breaks During Workouts
It is essential to take short breaks during your workout session, especially if you are a beginner. However, a few minutes of rest can reduce the discomfort.
For example, exercise for 5 minutes and then rest until your pain subsides. Repeat this technique as required. Over time, you can increase the time you exercise before taking a break.
You can aim for about 50 minutes of walking sessions done 3 to 5 times a week. Once you achieve this goal and this routine is easier for you, you can attempt longer or more frequent workouts. You could also opt for walking on staircases or hills or add an incline to your treadmill workouts.
If your condition does not improve with exercising, visit a vein specialist for further treatment and care. Waiting too long to receive treatment can lead to serious health complications, such as heart attack, stroke, and foot or leg amputation.
If you are looking for the best vein clinic in Suwanee and surrounding northern Atlanta cities for your PAD treatment, contact North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced vascular disease experts provide comprehensive care and support for patients with peripheral artery disease.