The nurse is encouraging a patient with peripheral artery disease (PAD) to start a progressive exercise program. The nurse explains that exercise will improve symptoms of intermittent claudication because exercise will


• PAD results from compromised blood flow to the extremities. While intermittent claudication occurs during activities such as walking, a progressive exercise program improves circulation and collateral blood flow around the affected (blocked) arteries.

• Exercise programs should be progressive. The patient should start with walking or other mild exercises and increase intensity as tolerated.

• Incorrect: Although exercise will increase HDLs, reduce body weight, and promote venous return, these changes do not directly improve symptoms of PAD.

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