If you have coronary heart disease, called CHD, your doctor may want you to take an exercise stress test before beginning an exercise program. Your doctor may want you to do this even if you just have risk factors for heart disease. This will be especially true if you wish to start a vigorous program.
During an exercise stress test, you walk on a treadmill while doctors or trained technicians monitor you. They'll be checking your heart rhythm, heart rate, and blood pressure. A stress test can give information about how your heart functions under increasing levels of exertion. It also can serve as a guideline for developing your exercise program.
Your doctor may want you to take an exercise test each year to check your progress. If you have heart disease, your doctor may also want you to join an exercise program that's supervised by healthcare providers.
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