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An Active Lifestyle Can Help Prevent PAD

Active Aging Week 2020

The International Council on Active Aging rolled out the first Active Aging Week in 2003 and the rest is history. Active Aging Week (October 5-11 this year!) is set aside to celebrate the positive aspects of the aging process, encouraging adults over the age of 50 to take advantage of all that life has to offer. The goal of this awareness week is to promote wellness initiatives and to get bodies up and moving!

At Lam Vascular & Associates, we are all for anything that promotes wellness, especially in our senior population. As vascular experts, a fair number of our patients are in this group. Many of the vascular conditions we treat, like Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), occur more commonly in people over the age of 50.

Walking Can Help with PAD

If you have PAD, you may be tempted to decrease your activity level. After all, PAD can make even simple activities, like ascending a flight of stairs or walking to the mailbox, an excruciatingly painful experience. But staying active is important; for everyone, but especially for individuals who have PAD.

PAD is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries of the arms and legs that prevent blood and oxygen from reaching the muscles. PAD raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. Untreated, PAD can lead to chronic pain (claudication), chronic infections, and in the most severe cases, amputation of the affected limb. According to the American Heart Association, this condition affects 8 to 12 million people in the United States.
PAD is often associated with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. People who smoke are at a higher risk for developing PAD early in life.

How is PAD Treated?

In its earlier stages, there is a lot you can do to stop PAD in its tracks, such as:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet

Lifestyle changes and medication are the two most common treatments for PAD, but when those are not enough, Dr. Russell Lam may recommend surgical intervention. Luckily, today’s technology has allowed these procedures to be minimally invasive in most cases, and therefore, they often do not require a hospital stay or extensive downtime.

How Can Physical Activity Become a Way of Life?

If you aren’t in the habit of being physically active, it’s a great time to develop a new habit. Regular physical activity reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. It also helps in the reduction of other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight and diabetes. In addition to all the health benefits, exercising can help you look and feel better, become stronger and more flexible as well as reduce tension and stress.

How to Become More Active

  • Choose activities you enjoy and make sure it’s convenient for you. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you’re doing something you enjoy.
  • Accountability! Ask your partner or a friend to join you.
  • Try to exercise at the same time each day, so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week (if you exercise five times a week, that’s only 30 minutes each day!).

Remember, regular exercise can help minimize symptoms, limit pain and ward off disability if you have PAD. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get moving!

Your Next Step Matters

Our amazing team is made up of regional vascular leaders. And we are taking PAD care to the next level with our onsite, dedicated state-of-the-art Limb Salvage Center. Here, we perform many endovascular or minimally invasive procedures for a variety of vascular conditions.

Thankfully, amputations and invasive surgeries are far less common for PAD treatment due to the development of these endovascular procedures. Dr. Lam specializes in them – including laser atherectomy and angioplasty with stenting – and has performed over 10,000 to date.

If you believe you or someone you love is experiencing the effects of PAD, you owe it to yourself to find out for sure. Schedule an appointment with our vascular experts today.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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