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Exercise Stress Electrocardiogram

Once you have been connected to the EKG electrodes you will exercise on a treadmill. During the test, the exercise level will get harder. You can ask the nurse or physician to stop whenever you feel the exercise is too much for you.

Exercise Stress EKG

The EKG records the heart's electrical activity. A blood pressure cuff is used to record the patient's blood pressure while he walks on a treadmill.

While you're exercising the nurse will ask you how you're feeling. You should tell him or her if you feel chest pain, short of breath, or dizzy.

The exercise will continue until you reach a target heart rate, or until you:
Feel moderate to severe chest pain
Get too out of breath to continue
Develop abnormally high or low blood pressure or an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat)
Become dizzy

The nurse will continue to check your heart functions and blood pressure after the test until they return to normal levels.The "stress" part of a stress test (when your heart is working hard) usually lasts about 15 minutes or less. However, there's prep time before the test and monitoring time afterward.

 What To Expect During an Electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is painless and harmless. A nurse or technician will attach 12 soft, sticky patches called electrodes to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. The patches are about the size of a quarter.This helps detect your heart's electrical activity from many areas at the same time.After the patches are placed on your skin, you'll lie still on a table while the patches detect your heart's electrical signals. A machine will record these signals on graph paper or display them on a screen.The entire test will take about 10 minutes.