For People With PAD, Exercise Can Be Tough But Rewarding

Fast-paced walking is painful for the millions of people with peripheral artery disease (PAD). But new research shows that a slower, pain-free pace won’t cut it if improvement in mobility is the goal.

The study included more than 300 of the roughly 8.5 million Americans with PAD. It’s a condition in which plaque build-up in arteries slows the flow of blood to the legs.

“People with PAD can typically walk only a couple of blocks before they have to stop and rest,” said study author Dr. Mary McDermott, a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

PAD makes walking difficult because narrowed arteries prevent delivery of oxygen to leg muscles during activity, she explained.

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