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Home Program May Stretch Walking Distance

A home walking program may help people with poor blood circulation that leads to leg pain, a new study finds. The study focused on 168 people with peripheral artery disease. This condition is caused by narrowed arteries in the legs. The main symptom is pain or cramping in the legs while walking. People in the study were randomly divided into 2 groups. The first group took part in a program that trained them to increase their walking at home. After 6 months, they continued on their own, with phone calls for encouragement. They were told to try to walk at least 5 days a week and build up to 50 minutes a day. If their legs hurt, they were told to rest until the pain went away, and then start again. The second group received general health information only. After a year, people in the first group had increased their average distance for a 6-minute walk by about 87 feet, or 7.5%.

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