How to Prepare for Exercise Stress Testing

Apr 01, 2023
How to Prepare for Exercise Stress Testing
Heart disease is a severe health issue that has dire consequences. A stress test helps us diagnose any problems with your heart. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for your exercise stress test.

A treadmill isn't just for leisurely exercise; doctors also use it to test your heart while working hard. An exercise stress test is a standard evaluation that helps find issues within your heart that could put you at risk for severe complications.

Dr. Ghiath Mikdadi and Dr. Farid Zayed are two expert cardiologists providing cardiac testing and interventional services at the Heart Clinic of Hammond in Hammond and Amite, Louisiana. Dr. Midadi and Dr. Zayed help you understand the exercise stress test procedure and help you prepare for a successful evaluation.

What is a stress test?

A stress test is a type of evaluation to test how your heart works under pressure. There are different types of stress tests, including exercise stress tests and nuclear stress tests.

An exercise stress test allows our team to evaluate your heart while walking or running on a treadmill or a stationary bike. During the trial, we check the following:

  • Your vital signs, including your blood pressure
  • The blood flow in your heart
  • The electrical signals in your heart
  • Your heart rate and rhythm

We typically prescribe an exercise stress test when you're having symptoms related to your heart. Our team can diagnose several different problems within your heart, including the following:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Angina
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart failure
  • Valvular disease

An exercise stress test also tells our team how likely you are to have a heart attack in the future. We also use it to determine what type of treatment is best for your specific condition.

Preparing for your stress test

An exercise stress test can be daunting, especially if you're worried about the results. However, you must relax before your test because feeling anxious can affect the outcome of the stress test.

If you're concerned before your test, don't hesitate to contact our team and ask any questions you may have. Preparing for your stress test helps you know what to expect and ensures accurate results. Other ways to prepare include:

Be sure to ask our team about stopping medications on your test day. It can be dangerous to stop certain prescription medications suddenly. However, we may have you stop asthma inhalers and beta blockers on the day of your test to ensure accurate results.

If you have an exercise stress test, your shoes are essential to the exam. Wear comfortable athletic sneakers during your test because you are on a stationary bike or a treadmill for about an hour.

You should also bring a water bottle and a change of clothes to your test. Drinking water is a good idea to stay hydrated during and after the test. You may get sweaty during the test, so a clean pair of clothes is a good idea if you have somewhere to go afterward.

After the test, you can go about your normal activities unless we instruct you otherwise. As soon as we have your results, we contact you and let you know the next steps in your treatment plan.

To schedule your exercise stress test, call Heart Clinic of Hammond today at 985-974-9278, or request an appointment online for a consultation.