Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Train For Any Treadmill Test

Also known as a stress test, a treadmill test consists of exercising on a treadmill at a medical facility. A treadmill test helps the doctor assess the possibility of coronary artery disease, or heart disease. The test includes walking and jogging on both flat and inclined surfaces. Medical professionals monitor your heart rate and blood pressure throughout the test, with abnormal readings analyzed to determine any blockages in the arteries or any weakness of the heart muscle. If your family has a history of heart problems, a treadmill test can detect early signs of coronary disease 67 percent of the time.



1. Buy tennis shoes that provide support for the activities you will be doing. A treadmill test consists of walking and jogging, so purchase shoes with extra cushion for the toe pad and heel as well as arch support along the center. Wear your shoes during training to break them in before the actual test.

2. Choose clothing that is loose and comfortable but not oversized. Wear shorts or pants that have an elastic or drawstring waistband to prevent restriction in the abdominal area. Your shirt should be no longer than to the hip joint, or it may interfere with your leg movement. Women can wear an athletic tank top, but men have the option to be bare chested. Wear socks to prevent blisters on your feet.

3. Walk every day if you are not used to exercising. Start with walking briskly around your neighborhood block. Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle, and swing them in rhythm to your steps to work the upper body. You should be able to walk at a steady pace while carrying on a conversation. If you find yourself starting to feel breathless or if you have any discomfort, slow your walking pace and relax your arms until normal breathing returns.

4. Increase your walking time and distance each day until you can comfortably walk at least 1 mile without taking a break. Gauge your walking speed so that you build up your stamina to walk and talk simultaneously. Once you have conquered the process for 1 mile, set your walking goal for 2 miles.


5. Alternate walking with jogging once you are comfortable with briskly walking 1 mile. Jog for short spurts, then resume brisk walking. Maintain the 90-degree angle of the arms during jogging. Increase lung capacity and oxygen intake by breathing in through the nose for four counts and exhaling through the mouth for two. Extend the time spent jogging until you can jog 1 mile comfortably.

6. Train for the test by also hiking uphill. Because part of the treadmill test uses inline settings, get your legs and hip flexors adjusted to the upward motion. Push through the heel to motivate yourself forward and work the glutes while taking stress off the hip flexors and knees.

7. Refrain from unhealthy habits. Caffeine and alcohol both dehydrate the body. Do not drink caffeinated beverages, such as tea, soft drinks and coffee, while in training. Also, reduce or eliminate your intake of alcoholic beverages, even beer and wine, as alcohol affects cognitive function. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, forcing the same amount of blood to flow through smaller blood vessels, potentially leading to heart or circulatory problems during the test. Stop smoking completely, or use a nicotine patch so that your lungs can get stronger before the test.

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