Treadmill Stress Test

Instructions for the Test


  1. Wear comfortable clothes and comfortable walking/running shoes
  2. Do not use body lotion/powder on the day of test. Deodorant is okay
  3. Do not eat four hours prior to the test. If you are diabetic, you may eat a small amount of food and use your insulin as usual
  4. Do not have any coffee, tea, or other caffeinated or decaffeinated products for 24 hours prior to the test
  5. Do not smoke or use any type of tobacco on the day of the test
  6. Take all your medications as usual unless you are on certain beta blockers and calcium channel blockers (those listed on the bottom of this brochure). Do not take those medications on the day of the test

What is a Treadmill Stress Test?

It is a test to help your doctors learn how well your heart functions especially when it is working harder. The test is done when you walk on a treadmill. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) records the electrical activity of your heart.

How is the Test Done?

The test will be done at our office. A nurse will place electrodes on your chest. The electrodes are connected to an EKG machine. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. The treadmill starts slowly. The speed and incline are increased every few minutes. The physician will watch your EKG and check your blood pressure. You should try to walk as long as you can or until the physician stops the test. The exercise part of the test lasts about 5 to 15 minutes but allow an hour for the entire test.

Why is the Test Done?

The test is done to show how well your heart works during exercise. People with healthy hearts and in good physical condition can usually exercise longer. It is normal to feel tired and short of breath. Be sure to report any symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, dizziness or shortness of breath. The heart rate and blood pressure usually rise with exercise. The physician will watch for any abnormal changes in the blood pressure or EKG.

Is the Test Safe?

Generally the exercise test is safe. There is a small amount of risk because the test does stress the heart. Possibilities include abnormal heart rhythms and very rare heart attack. Experienced personnel are available to handle any emergencies.

Test Results

The physician may be able to give you preliminary test results on the day of the test or your own doctor will give you results at a later appointment.

Beta Blockers:

  • BLOCADREN (Timolol)
  • CORGARD (Nadolol)
  • COREG (Carvedilol)
  • LOPRESSOR (Metoprolol)
  • INDERAL (Propranolol)
  • SECTRAL (Acebutolol)
  • NORMODYNE (Labetolol)
  • TOPROL (Metoprolol)
  • TENORMIN (Atenolol)
  • VISKEN (Pinfolol)
  • TRANDATE (Labetolol)
  • ZIAC (Bisoprolol/HCTZ)
  • ZEBETA (Bisoprolol)
Calcium Channel Blockers:

  • CALAN (Verapamil hydrochloride)
  • CARDIZEM (Diltiazem HCL)
  • COVERA (Verapamil hydrochloride)
  • DILACOR (Diltiazem HCL)
  • ISOPTIN (Verapamil HCL)
  • NIMOTOP (Nimodpine)
  • TIAZAC (Dilitiazen hydrochloride)
  • VASCOR (Bepridil hydrochloride)