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Diseases & Conditions
When walking is the best medicine
- By Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
Supervised exercise therapy can be just as effective as more invasive treatments for peripheral artery disease.
Would you be willing to push past pain if it helped you improve a dangerous health condition? While pain is normally a sign to stop what you’re doing, embracing discomfort is exactly what’s necessary to successfully treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) through exercise.
An estimated nine million Americans have been diagnosed with PAD, which cuts blood flow to muscles — typically in the legs — when plaque buildup narrows arteries far from the heart. The condition’s classic sign is calf pain or cramping while walking (called claudication) that eases with rest.
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About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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Walking for Health
The simple activity of walking has so many powerful health benefits. Done correctly, it can be the key to losing weight, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and boosting your memory, as well as reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Walking for Health, created by the experts at Harvard Medical School, takes you step-by-step from why walking may be the most perfect exercise, to how to get started on a walking program, to specific walking workouts. It even has a special section on walking for weight loss.
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