Everything you Need to Know About the Treadmill Test

treadmill testThere are various ways that the fitness of a person can be tested. One of them is through the treadmill. You may have thought that treadmills are only used for fitness purpose. However, treadmills are now being used to measure certain health attributes.

This much-ignored piece of equipment can bestow you with a plethora of benefits, but before you begin any workout, won’t it be good to test your fitness and stress levels?

Yes indeed, it would be necessary. Through exercise stress test a lot can be found out about a person’s health. It is primarily done to determine the response of the heart when it has to work overtime and at its hardest best.

At the time of the test, the person going through the test is asked to run on the treadmill while an EKG (electrocardiogram machine is hooked onto him or her.

The EKG machine lets the doctor monitor the heart rate as well as if there are any other monitoring apparatuses fitted onto the person, they give additional health-related information.

Why Should the Exercise Stress Test be Done?

Such a test is usually done to assist the doctor in figuring out the volume of oxygen the heart receives and if the blood flow is proper when it is needed the most. A situation similar to physically strenuous work condition is created by making a person run or walk on the treadmill.

This test is prescribed for the people who have recently experienced chest pains or any other symptom that can indicate them having any kind of coronary artery diseases.

Through the exercise stress test, the health level can be determined, and it helps a lot if someone wants to start a new as well as a strenuous program of exercise. It lets the doctor know what level of workout to recommend, to the person keeping in mind his or her safety.

In case, if the person who is to be tested, smokes and happens to be more than 40 years of age or risk having heart diseases, he or she must have a word with their doctor to find out if they should go forward with an exercise stress test or not.

Are There any Risks Involved?

Although the stress tests are considered safe when they are carried out in an environment, which is controlled and supervised by a qualified medical professional. There is still some rare degree of risks present when these tests are carried out. Such risks include chest-pain, fainting, collapsing, irregular heart-beat as well as a possibility of a heart-attack.

However, there is a low probability of experiencing such reactions as the doctor will always screen the candidate before the procedure is to be scheduled and then again a second time; before it is to be carried out.

People, who are more prone to have such complications, like the people who have advanced coronary related heart diseases, tend to be stopped from going through such tests.

What are the Preparations?

One should always know how to get ready for the test through exercise stress. Before the test, the doctor usually performs a standard physical examination and ask the person going for the test about his or her medical history in its entirety.

This is the time when the doctor must be told about the symptoms, especially if there is a shortness of breath or chest pains. The doctor must be told about any of the symptoms or health condition that may result in making the entire exercise difficult; like arthritis or muscle issues.

Also, if the person has diabetes, the doctor must be made aware of the same since working out affects the sugar levels in the bloodstream. In case the person has diabetes, his or her doctor would want to observe the levels of blood glucose at the time of exercise test too.

On the test day, the person should dress comfortable and loose cloth. Anything that is breathable and light is really good. Hence, one should wear the right fit and comfortable pair of shoes, since running on the treadmill belt is a matter of serious concern.

The doctor will render you an entire set of instructions on how to get yourself ready. Those instructions may also have;

  • Do not smoke, eat or drink caffeinated beverages three hours before the commencement of the stress test.
  • If there is any kind of complication or chest pains, do acknowledge that.
  • Stop consuming certain medicines.

How is the test carried out?

Prior to the commencement of the exercise stress test, the person is hooked to an EKG machine, which means having multiple sticky pads attached to the skin, under the clothing. The nurse or doctor will check the breathing and heart rate before the exercise begins. The doctor may also ask the person to breathe in a tube to measure his or her lung strength.

Initially, the person has to start walking slowly on the treadmill belt, and the grade, as well as the speed of the treadmill belt, will get increased as the testing proceeds. In case, there are any complications or difficulties experienced by the person, chest-pains, fatigue or weakness in particular then the person may ask or immediately stop the test at his or her own accord.

Once the doctor is completely satisfied with the results, the person may stop exercising or running on the treadmill belt. The breathing and heart rate will continue to be observed for a little while; after the exercise or walking or running has been stopped.

Following up Post Test

Once the test is done, the person would be given some water or glucose to drink and told to take rest. In case the blood pressure has risen during the stress test, the attending nurse may still monitor the blood pressure. After a few days, the doctor may review the test results with the person.

Such a test may reveal the heart rhythms that are irregular or any other symptoms which indicate coronary disease of the artery, like a blockage in the arteries. Now if the doctor determines that the person has the coronary disease of the artery or any kind of heart issue, the treatment may begin, or further tests may be carried out.

Overall, knowing how to read treadmill test results will also help a lot here. But keeping fit to finish the stress test without feeling overworked will differentiate between being fit or not.

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