HealthDay News — For patients with intermittent claudication, completion and adherence rates are increased with use of alternative exercise modalities to walking, according to a review published online June 19 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Edward Lin, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to compare completion and adherence rates of exercise programs in traditional versus alternative exercise interventions among patients with intermittent claudication. Alternative modalities of exercise included pain-free treadmill exercise, lower-limb aerobic exercise, polestriding (Nordic walking), arm ergometry, resistance training, and circuit training. A total of 6,814 records were identified based on the inclusion criteria; 84 full-text records were reviewed in detail.

The researchers identified 122 separate exercise groups in the 84 studies, including 64 groups of traditional walking exercise and 58 alternative exercise groups. For traditional exercise, the completion and adherence rates were 80.8 and 77.6 percent, respectively, while for alternative exercise, the rates were 86.6 and 85.5 percent, respectively.

“Pain is not a necessary part of exercise for patients with peripheral arterial disease,” Lin said in a statement. “If patients prefer not to walk [due] to pain, they can be encouraged to do pain-free exercise they enjoy. This should increase the likelihood of maintaining long-term physical activity.”

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