An exercise stress test may be appropriate for someone who is fit and in good general health. If you already run or walk or ride a bicycle, an exercise stress test may seem familiar to you.
How does it work?
Your heart is monitored while you walk or run on a treadmill or pedal a stationary exercise bike. Here’s what happens during the test:
-Before you start the “stress” part of a stress test, a technician or nurse will put sticky patches called electrodes on the skin of your chest, arms, and legs.
-The electrodes are connected to an EKG (electrocardiogram) machine. This machine records your heart’s electrical activity.
-The technician or nurse will put a blood pressure cuff on your arm to check your blood pressure during the stress test, and you may be asked to breathe into a special tube so your breathing can be measured.
-After these preparations, you’ll exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. As you walk, run, or pedal, the test becomes gradually more difficult. You can stop whenever you feel the exercise is too much for you.
-After the test, while you’re cooling down, the EKG continues to monitor your heart rate until it returns to normal. Generally, exercise test time is 15 minutes or less.