The Best Exercise to Stop Hardening of the Arteries

In All Health Watch, Blood Pressure, Featured Article, Fitness and Exercise, Heart and Cardiovascular

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) may be the most common serious disease you’ve never heard of. About 10% of Americans have it.[1] 

PAD causes artery blockages in the legs. This can lead to severe leg pain.

But even worse, having PAD means you have about a 50% chance of also having heart disease.

Doctors typically recommend that PAD patients walk every day. This keeps blood circulating and helps prevent clots.

The problem is that walking is often painful for people with PAD. When they walk, their legs cramp up. So PAD patients don’t do the exercise they need to treat their condition and stop it from progressing. 

A new study may have found a solution.

The research was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.[2]

The investigators analyzed data from randomized controlled trials. All the studies looked at resistance training’s (RT) effects on PAD.

RT is exercise that strengthens muscles. It can be done with or without weights.

The research team found that RT improved walking ability in PAD sufferers. And high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) had the best results. 

Dr. Belinda Parmenter was the study’s lead author. She said HIRT “improved how far someone could walk before pain kicked in.”

4 Exercises that Relieve Peripheral Artery Disease Pain

You don’t need machines or weights to do resistance training. Bodyweight exercises are enough. They build functional strength and have a low risk of injury.

The regimens used in the study worked both the upper and lower body. Do these four exercises for total body strength workout that will help you walk without pain:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges

For a high intensity routine, shoot for 10 reps of each of these exercises, or as many as you can manage. Rest no more than 90 seconds between each set. Do the entire routine three times in a row for a complete workout. The study authors recommend at least two sessions a week.

For detailed instructions on how to do each exercise, go here.

If you have PAD, it’s important that you walk every day. To do it without pain, make resistance training part of your exercise routine.

Editor’s Note: Independent Healing readers recently discovered the best way to get fast results from resistance exercise. To find out more, go here.

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