What are some goals I can set to improve my peripheral artery disease?

In peripheral artery disease (PAD) blockages are present in the arteries that supply blood to the legs, feet, arms, or kidneys. If you have been diagnosed with PAD, there are many ways you can contribute to improving your own health. Talk with your physician about how you can incorporate the suggestions below into your daily life.
  • Walk. Talk with your physician about walking guidelines that are appropriate for you. A structured walking program often works as well as medicine or surgery to help people with PAD walk longer and farther without pain. 
  • Take care of your feet. Talk with a medical professional about how to best be fitted with comfortable shoes. Learn good daily PAD foot care.
  • Eat heart healthy. Following a heart-healthy diet can help slow the build-up of plaque in arteries that contributes to cardiovascular disease.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking cessation is one of the most important things you can do to fight PAD.
  • Participate in rehab. Talk with your doctor about your eligibility for a cardiac rehabilitation program. These programs have been proven to vastly improve long-term outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease.
  • Seek support. Ask your family, friends, or a support group to help you institute the lifestyle changes that can help you improve your cardiovascular health.
  • Manage diabetes. If you also have diabetes, proper foot care and a healthy diet will be critical to preventing serious complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.