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Walking program helps artery disease

Atherosclerosis can mean heart disease involving the arteries of the heart. But it is a disease that can develop in any artery. And, if the disease develops in an artery in your leg, a regular exercise program can help alleviate your pain.

According to an article in The Detroit News, several medications are effective in treating blockages of the artery. They can be supplemented with exercise. Even if you aren't in pain now, starting a regular exercise program under the supervision of your doctor can help you extend the time before pain starts to occur.

Start with walking. Build up to 30 minutes a day, four days a week. If you are out of shape or haven't exercised for a while, 30 minutes will seem like a long time, so work up to it. Walk as much as you can before the pain stops you. Rest until it disappears, then start again. Keep it up until you have a total of 30 minutes. Some studies have shown that, with steady work, you can improve your ability to walk for extended periods of time up to 150 percent. If the pain in your leg is intolerable when you walk, you can try 10 to 15 minutes of stationary cycling. Exercise alone won't slow or stop the blockages in your arteries, but it can help you maintain your overall health as you combat the disease.

To find out more about atherosclerosis, you can read this information from the American Heart Association. To find out more about your circulatory system and how diseases like atherosclerosis develop, you can read this article from Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2001.

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