The heart is a muscle which pumps blood throughout your body, distributing life-giving oxygen to all the cells. If the heart is not working properly, an EKG (electrocardiogram) at rest often can show the problem.

During exercise, however, the heart beats faster because the body needs more oxygen when stressed. The stress test provides even more specific information about how your heart and coronary arteries are functioning.

The stress test conducted while you exercise on a treadmill measures your heart’s health under the stress of physical activity. A specially trained technician, an expert in using stress test equipment, also monitors your blood pressure and pulse.

The stress test aids in determining how fit you are and how safe an exercise program is for you or if a heart problem exists.

The test normally runs one to 1 1/2 hours. Please dress casually, be prepared to perspire, wear or bring appropriate clothing, tennis shoes or shoes with non-slip soles (no slippers).

Be sure that you follow the instructions you are given concerning eating and taking medications. Bring a list of all medications, which you are currently taking.

Please abstain the following prior to testing: coffee, tea or alcohol and smoking.

Complications are rare and all necessary steps are taken to prevent or treat complications with emergency equipment and trained personnel.