Move your arm to ease the ache in your leg.
Sounds crazy, but that's a theory that is proving true at the University of Minnesota. In fact, researchers found that arm exercises were just as effective as a treadmill in improving walking distance and that's good news for people who are sidelined with leg pain by peripheral artery disease or PAD, a condition caused by poor blood flow.
"Well, if you can't walk your legs aren't going to get better if we can't open blood vessels this would suggest, fine don't walk, sit but exercise your arms, the blood vessels in the arms can release things into the blood stream that help the whole body. And clearly this study would suggest exercise of any kind is good, said Dr. Marc Penn, of the Cleveland Clinic.
The patients in the study used a table top device that looked like a small bicycle where you turn the pedals with your arms. The group did that for an hour a day three times a week to improve heart function and lessen leg pain. The results were presented to the American Heart Association this week.
The research was conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Nursing in Minneapolis, the results were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific session.