Exercise Stress Test

An exercise stress test is a tool to test the effect of exercise on your heart.  The test gives a general sense of how healthy your heart is.  It examines for suggestions of blockages in the blood vessels, heart rhythm, and your physical condition.

How the test is performed:

  • Electrodes are affixed to your chest.  This requires cleaning the site and, if necessary, shaving or clipping hair.  The standard number of leads attached is 12.

  • You will walk on a treadmill while the electrical activity of your heart is measured with an electrocardiogram (EKG), and blood pressure readings are taken.  This will measure your heart's reaction to your body's increased need for blood and oxygen.

  • The test continues until you reach your maximal tolerance level, unless complications develop such as chest pain or an exaggerated rise in blood pressure.  You will continue to be monitored for several minutes after exercising.

How to prepare for the test:

  • Do not smoke or consume alcoholic beverages.  Do not consume caffeinated or decaffeinated products on the day of the test.

  • Bring a current list of medications with you.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes (NO dresses or sandals).

  • Take all medications as instructed; do not withhold any medications unless directed.

This page was last updated: March 19, 2013

         
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