Treadmill Guides

Know More About Treadmill Test

What is a treadmill test?
A treadmill test is carried out to determine the exercise capacity of an individual. It records the heart's rate and rhythm while exercising. A physician who is present throughout the test monitors your heart's rhythm in electrocardiogram (EKG) patterns. It helps you know about the amount of exercise suitable for you. Especially if you've had a medical history, it is strictly recommended to get this test done before you start exercising on a treadmill.

Why is it required?
Now the question arises as to why is a treadmill test required? A treadmill test helps to determine your cardiac condition with regard to:

a) Chest pains that the patient may be experiencing during exercise.
b) Irregular heart rhythms.
c) Probable decrease in the blood and oxygen supply to the heart muscle during exercise, being experienced by the patient.
d) The recovery time taken by heart after the exercise.
e) The overall cardiac condition of the patient.
f) To determine the amount of pressure that can be exerted on heart before such symptoms develop.

Are there any prior preparations needed?
If you are finally convinced with the reasons for getting a treadmill test done then there are a few preparations that you need to make before you actually go for it. There are a few things you have to take care of before you go for the treadmill test. These are:

a) Ask your doctor whether you can take your regular medication before the test or not.
b) Do not smoke for at least 4 hours prior to test.
c) Do not take caffeine for at least 4 hours prior to test.
d) Do not apply any kind of lotions, moisturizers, oils, or powders on the chest area prior to the test.
Wear comfortable and loose clothing and sports shoes for the test.

What all steps does the test comprise of?
Just don&rsquot worry, you won&rsquot be asked to do anything painful. It would be a simple test which would comprise of following steps:

Once you have reached the lab, your blood pressure and EKG will be monitored in a lying, sitting and standing position.

You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and given a clinical gown to wear.

The chest will be wiped with a solution that could possibly be simple alcohol.
A blood pressure cuff would be placed on your upper arm to make note of blood pressure levels at different times during the test.

A technician will attach electrodes to your chest.

You will start walking on the treadmill at a mild pace which would be increased after every 3 minutes along with the incline till you reach your target heart rate.

If you experience any kind of chest pain or numbness, let the physician know about it immediately.

You will then be made to lie down till your blood pressure and heart rate come back to normal.

You will then be observed for another 5-10 minutes and then the equipments will be disconnected and you would be set free.

Treadmill test is really helpful in determining the amount and type of workout that your body is capable of holding. It is always advisable to get it done before you start your exercise regime.