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Exercise Treadmill Test

What is an Exercise Treadmill Test?

It is an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) conducted while walking on a treadmill to measure the heart’s response to the stress of physical activity. Your blood pressure and heart rhythm are monitored during the test as well. The results aid in the detection of the disease which causes heart attacks, determination of cardiovascular fitness, and the safety of an exercise program. The test can show if there’s a lack of blood supply through the arteries that go to your heart.

Before your exercise treadmill test

Don’t eat, drink, smoke, or have any caffeine for 3 hours before your test. Make sure you wear a two-piece outfit and walking shoes, you may need to undress from the waist up and put on a gown.

Treadmill Instructions

What happens during the test?

You are hooked up to equipment to monitor your heart. You walk slowly in place on the treadmill. The treadmill will tilt so you feel like you are going up a small hill. It changes speeds to make you walk faster in order to increase your heart rate. The test is over when you reach your maximum heart rate or you feel you need to complete the test.

After slowing down for a few minutes, you will sit down and your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored.

Report any symptoms

Be sure to tell the doctor if you feel any of the following during the test:

  • Chest, arm, or jaw discomfort
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Leg cramps or soreness

After your test

As soon as the test is over, you may eat and return to your normal routine.