How Do You Pass a Treadmill Stress Test?

A normal exercise electrocardiogram, or EKG, result is one in which the individual reaches his age-appropriate target heart rate and is able to exercise without chest pain or symptoms of heart disease, states WebMD. His blood pressure increases steadily, heartbeats look normal, and EKG tracings do not show significant changes.

During an exercise EKG, or stress test, individuals walk on a motor-driven treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle to detect EKG abnormalities in the heart that are only visible during exercise or when symptoms occur, explains WebMD. The heart muscle contracts and pumps blood through the heart and to the body due to a natural electrical system in the heart. This electrical activity is tracked in an EKG and translated into spikes and dips called waves that are traced onto paper. Results of the exercise EKG test are compared to the results of a resting EKG done prior to exercise.

An EKG is performed to determine the cause of unexplained chest pain; to determine the cause of symptoms, such as dizziness, palpitations and fainting, that occur during exercise; and to help decide on the best treatment for angina, according to WebMD. It is also done to test exercise tolerance for individuals who have had a heart attack or surgery.