There are good types of stress and bad types of stress. Applying stress, like exercise, to your life can be good for your body. There is a type of medical test called an exercise stress test. There are many people who undergo this kind of test. Today we cover what it is as well as why it’s needed.
What It Is
An exercise stress test is a cardiac test that analyzes how the heart responds to physical stress. This is done in a safe, medical environment monitored by healthcare professionals. Through the testing, they are able to determine if a person has heart disease, a disorder or any arrhythmias.
How It Works
Before going in for your stress test, you will be asked to not eat or drink too much beforehand. Your healthcare provider will discuss your medications, like which ones are okay for you to take the day of the test and which ones aren’t. You will want to wear comfortable clothing that you would wear to the gym.
When you arrive, you will meet with the technician as they place EKG (electrocardiogram) patches on your legs, arms and chest. It will monitor the electrical activity in your heart as you move.
You will then begin walking on a treadmill at a slow pace, monitored by the healthcare professionals. As you continue walking, the speed will steadily be increased. This is where the “stress” enters and is monitored. The incline may be adjusted to simulate walking up a hill, but you will likely not be asked to run unless it is something you normally do. This will last for approximately 15 minutes, or until you have reached a target level set by the doctor. You can take a break at any time if necessary.
When finished, you will remain connected to the EKG as your blood pressure is taken. They will continue analyzing you as your breathing and heart rate returns to normal. The test is overall very simple!
When the word “stress” is heard, it is often seen as negative. However, a good type of stress is exercise on the body. What level of exercise is acceptable is different for every person. Prolonged periods of stress can have negative consequences on the body and heart, but exercise is not one of them.
What It’s For
You may be wondering why someone would need to undergo a stress test or you may think that it’s only for older adults. However, many people can benefit from one. If you have frequent chest pain, congenital heart disease or want to determine a safe level of exercise for you, a stress test may be beneficial.
Show your heart just how important it is to you by getting your stress test today!