Stress Treadmill and EKG

An important component of the complete sports medicine evaluation is a Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test. This clinical test is physician supervised and the complete results are provided and reviewed with your supervising physician at the completion of the exam. Some individuals may feel a degree of apprehension about this test due to its name; however, the Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test is designed to measure each participant’s maximum exercise levels so you will never be required to extend your efforts beyond what is physically possible for your own maximal effort. Be assured that although you will be encouraged to extend yourself to reaching a maximal effort, you will be in charge of when to stop the test. We will not continue the test any longer than you wish to exercise.

Electrical Activity of the Heart

The Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test is used to monitor the electrical activity of the heart, commonly referred to as the electrocardiogram or EKG. We will place 12 small adhesive patches (electrodes) on various areas of the participant’s upper body to continuously monitor the EKG activity throughout the Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test. We record these various EKG signals to assist in the test interpretation. The EKG pattern may change during the test if the heart muscle is not receiving adequate oxygen and blood flow. This may be due to significant blockage of the heart’s arteries (coronary arteries). If these EKG changes are detected, a LiVe Well center physician will make specific recommendations related to your individual test results and appropriate follow-up care.

Heart Rate & Rhythm

In addition to monitoring the blood flow, during the Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test the continuous monitoring of the EKG will permit your physical to evaluate the heart’s rhythm as well as the heart rate. If there is any indication of abnormal heart rhythm or heart rate, the physician will discuss this when reviewing your test results. Measurement of the maximal heart rate will be used to recommend general exercise training guidelines or any additional follow up care you may require. At the end of the exercise portion of the test, you will be asked to cool down by walking at a very comfortable pace. During this final portion of the test, we will be monitoring your heart rate recovery which is often a strong indicator of your overall heart health.

Cardiovascular Fitness

The results from this Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test will be used to determine your cardiovascular fitness level. The treadmill test follows a specific protocol. The test begins with the treadmill elevated and at a slow walking pace. Every three minutes the treadmill speed and elevation are increased until you determine it is time to stop the test. Based upon your exercise time, a calculation of your fitness level, often referred to as “maximal oxygen consumption” or “VO2max.” Your predicted VO2max will then be compared to other men or women your age to determine your fitness level in relation to your peers. This information can be used to monitor your participation in physical activity relating to maintaining or improving your overall cardiovascular capacity.

It is important to remember that you are always in control of your maximum output during this test. We encourage participants to view this test as an opportunity to see how far you can physically exert yourself so you can use the most accurate information to guide you future training and exercise plan. Call the LiVe Well center today to schedule your complete Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test.

Maximal Exercise Treadmill Test - Sports Medicine Specialty Group - Utah 

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