When it comes to diet and exercise, one of the greatest struggles that many of us find ourselves having to overcome is an all-or-nothing mentality. While this type of outlook may go a long way towards helping certain people succeed—especially if they thrive in environments that ask them to give 100%—most of us wind up feeling stymied by the threat of not living up to our own expectations.
In essence, the bite of one cookie may make us feel like we’ve already blown it for the day, while thoughts of exercise may leave us feeling like there’s no benefit unless we’re fit enough to run marathons.
Although it may take time to foster various habits, especially when attempting to live a healthier life, it’s important to realize that even the smallest effort may positively impact your body. Plain and simple, everything counts.
Studies show that walking for only 30 minutes per day can increase your cardiovascular efficiency and dramatically improve your overall health. In particular, for those suffering from—or looking to prevent—vascular disease, regular walking will help you:
- Increase blood flow to your legs
- Reduce your leg pain
- Increase the amount of activity you are able to complete without needing to rest
- Lose or maintain your weight, especially when combined with dietary changes
- Drastically reduce your risk factors for a heart attack or stroke
- Improve your overall quality of life, as well as your general sense of well-being
Plain and simple, walking is a marker of long-term health; however, if you’re currently suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD) and find it difficult to complete even the simplest daily tasks, you may be thinking, “If I can’t walk into the grocery store without horrible leg pain, how can I even consider doing it for exercise?”
While it’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any form of exercise regimen, research indicates that within six weeks, most people suffering from vascular disease are able to increase their walking distance by 100-300%.
If you’d like to learn more about how walking can improve your quality of life or would like to speak with us about setting up a plan that is suited for your particular condition, we’d love to help.
Please feel free to visit our website or call us at 470-355-3053.
Dr. Joseph J. Ricotta II MD, MS, FACS
Vascular Institute of Atlanta