Surprise, Arizona has many easy trails to walk on. For instance the 48th Street Trail has a great view of Camelback Mountain and it’s only a 2-mile walk. Having a walking program in place is a great way to stay healthy and active, while also getting outdoors. It’s even good exercise for people with PAD, or peripheral arterial disease.

This is a circulatory condition that affects the arteries. They become narrowed because plaque builds up inside of them. This can be dangerous because it can lead to heart attack or stroke, but it may also mean that your limbs don’t get enough blood flow. When your legs and feet don’t have good circulation, they can cramp up, tingle, and become numb.

You might think that the last thing you want to do is go out and walk when your legs hurt, but it can actually be good for you. Sticking to a daily exercise program can greatly decrease the amount of pain you feel and it can keep you at a healthy weight.

We recommend you first clear with us that it’s safe for you to start exercises for PAD. Always begin a walking regimen by going more slowly than your normal pace. If you can only do a short distance at first, at least you are beginning. Gradually build up the length and intensity, but not to the point where you are in pain or can’t breathe properly. If you become dizzy or short of breath you should take a break.

Remember to bring plenty of water and avoid walking during very hot parts of the day. The desert can be intimidating for walking in, so early in the morning or later in the evening are the best times.

Be sure to wear proper, supportive shoes, too. Your footwear is important because it will help keep you free from injuries. Always end with a 5 minute cool-down where you walk slowly again. You should also stretch your feet and legs afterwards.

If you have more questions about how to begin a walking program, especially if you have PAD, call (623) 584-5556 to schedule an office visit and consultation at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ.

Photo Credit: mimwickett via

Dr. Viedra V. Elison
Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute
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