Wake Up Your Feet In The Pool For Peripheral Arterial Disease Therapy

foot exercise

To watch this on Instagram, click this link.

I use this exercise to improve my swim, and encourage better blood flow in my feet for my pain in the ass peripheral arterial disease. This strengthens and relaxes your feet, done right. It’s basically a simple swim kick, toes pointed. I use bare feet, along with a more interesting workout than just standing in the water, with my mouth just clearing the surface.

If you don’t relax, especially your feet and ankles, you sink!

Furthermore, the kick is initiated from your core, yielding another great benefit, core strength.

I’ll start with a length lying on my back, arms by my side, straight body (imagining you have a pull buoy between your thighs helps with this), gently kicking my way along the surface. Just relax, and let the water take your weight – this is basically a TI (Total Immersion Swimming) technique. It is important to have a “small” kick, like kicking in a bucket. When I reach the end of the pool, I turn by letting my legs slowly sink, still calmly kicking, turn vertically, let my legs return towards the surface, still kicking (small, gentle cadence) and head back the way I came along the surface on my back.

This approach breaks the monotony of just vertically kicking in the water, and it’s not so easy as it sounds.

As a poor-swimmer, you may consider this impossible. If I can do it for quite some time at age 80, I’m sure you can. It is important to relax, especially feet and hips, and keep that kick small.

It is literally a kick-ass foot workout, and done right you can do it for ages.

Give it a try, as it sure is helping my peripheral arterial disease symptoms, and my swim, come to think of it.


-kev aka FitOldDog

foot exercise
MRI scans through the thighs of three guys. Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.


  1. I have Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome which was treated by bypass surgery which has now failed. I am an avid swimmer so I have found swimming to be the best therapy. My Dr. Wants to perform another bypass with my remaining saphenous vein but I’m going to try to develop more collateral veins and arteries by exercising. Thank you for this blog with inspirational posts.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.