Before you start your Programme
Each patient is assessed by Heartbeat prior to taking part in any of our exercise programmes. The assessment takes the form of a treadmill test, the aim of which is to determine your tolerance to exercise to ensure your safety and give you the reassurance to take part in an exercise programme.
Why do I have to have a treadmill test?
The test enables the medical team to, in the majority of cases, set you an individual target heart rate that is both safe and realistic to work to based on your own ability and limitations. It also helps us to ensure that no problems develop as a result of exertion, provided individual targets are adhered to.
Who undertakes the test?
A GP and cardiac physiologist undertake your test, they will explain the results and answer any questions you may have.
How long does the test last for?
You should allow approximately 45 minutes for your initial assessment appointment. The duration of the treadmill test is variable and whilst we encourage patients to complete as much of the test as possible, patients typically manage between 2 and 9 minutes on average. Patients will not be asked to complete any more than they are comfortable with.
How long before the test should I eat or drink?
You should have a light meal approximately 1 hour before your treadmill test. It is also important to have had a drink of water prior to exercise.
Should I take my medication before the test?
You should take all your medication as normal prior to your treadmill test with Heartbeat unless you have specifically been asked not to.
When will I receive the results?
Once your initial assessment has been completed, one of the medical team will speak to you about the results. A letter will also be sent to your GP.
- What should I bring to my treadmill test?
- Your reading glasses
- A list of current medication
- Suitable clothing that is comfortable and does not restrict your movement
- A towel and toiletries in case you would like a shower
What happens after my test?
You will meet our Patient support officer who will take you through the next steps which include:
- The welcome pack which explains our programme and what you can expect
- Arrangement of an Induction onto the gym equipment with an instructor
- Agreement of a suitable class and time
If your circumstances allow we ask for a donation of £20 per month toward the running cost of the Programme. Alternatively, why not become a Heartbeat Volunteer.