PAD is a lifelong disease. In that sense, caring for your limbs never ends. Adopting a healthy lifestyle has benefits for any stage of PAD. The main goals of lifestyle changes relate to better management of your diabetes, weight loss, physical activity, and ceasing unhealthy behaviors. Not only will lifestyle changes help you have healthier limbs and reduce your risk for further PAD related complications, you’ll likely feel better too.

Examine your feet
Examine your feet

One of the most important things you can do on your own is daily foot checks. It takes just a few minutes but can prevent minor foot problems from advancing into serious health concerns. Inspect your feet every day for cuts, bruises, scratches, and any wounds that aren’t healing.

Caring for your feet
Care for your feet

People with PAD, especially in combination with diabetes, are more likely to have problems with their feet. You can reduce these risks by keeping your feet clean and moisturized, and trimming your toenails. Additionally, keep your feet warm with socks and avoid walking around barefoot.

Increase cardiovascular exercise
Increase cardiovascular exercise

This is a very important lifestyle factor in preventing PAD. Cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, is exercise that benefits your heart and improves blood flow throughout your body. Even just a brisk walk each day can make a real difference. Ask your physician or healthcare provider what kind of exercise is appropriate for you.

Improve your diet
Improve your diet

A healthy diet can help prevent plaque buildup and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Limit the amount of processed foods, full-fat dairy items, saturated fat, and fatty cuts of red meat you eat. Try eating more fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins and minerals you need.

control your weight
Control your weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your cholesterol and prevent PAD. In addition to cutting down on foods that are high in calories, sugar, and fat, try eating smaller portions and increasing your amount of physical activity.

smoking cessation
Tobacco cessation

Tobacco use increases your risk of developing PAD up to 4 times.6 If you smoke, or chew tobacco, you should stop immediately to avoid increasing your risk for PAD and other cardiovascular conditions.

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