Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago studied the effects of treadmill exercise and resistance training.
First, the details.
156 patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups.
Supervised treadmill exercise
Lower extremity resistance training
Some of the patients also had intermittent claudication.
And, the results.
For the 6-minute walk, the supervised treadmill exercise group significantly increased the distance walked by 36 meters (118 feet) vs the control group.
There was no improvement with resistance training vs the control group.
Neither exercise group improved its short physical performance battery scores.
Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation improved significantly in the treadmill group vs the control group.
The treadmill group had significantly greater increases in maximal treadmill walking time, walking impairment distance score, and physical functioning score (SF-36) vs the control group.
The resistance training group had significantly greater increases in maximal treadmill walking time, walking impairment scores for distance, and stair climbing vs the control group.
The bottom line?
Summing up, supervised treadmill training leads to improved walking, vascular improvements, and better quality of life in people who have PAD with and without intermittent claudication.
Lower extremity resistance training improves walking, quality of life, and stair climbing ability.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.