One of the most important things that you can do to manage your peripheral artery disease is to reduce or quit smoking. Maintaining a healthy diet is also important when living with PAD and can address health conditions and risk factors that contribute to PAD, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, or diabetes.
By partnering with a medical professional, you will ensure that your health program is customized to your current health and medical conditions. Your medical practitioner can work with you to develop a diet and exercise program that works for your current health and risk factors.
The ideal PAD exercise routine is designed to gradually increase the amount you are able to exercise without stopping. Starting slowly with only 5 – 10 minute short walks twice a day will make sure you are calibrated to your current health level.
Keep a notebook of your progress and celebrate your improvement with small but healthy rewards. If you miss a day, don’t worry about it, you can always start fresh the next day. It is important to realize that exercise is not about perfection.
Mild discomfort while walking is normal but if you find you are unable to complete your routine due to weakness or discomfort, it is time to check in with a medical professional. If you start to experience chest pain, stop walking immediately and call 911.
Consider finding a walking buddy. Setting a regular routine with another person can help you stay on track and make your exercise routine more enjoyable. Listening to music is another great way to make your exercise plan more fun and relaxing.