Is it your goal to ace every test you take? Well, admittedly, stress tests don’t exactly work that way. Unlike some pass or fail tests, the purpose of stress tests is to gather enough information about the condition of your heart so that your cardiologist can make an informed determination about your heart health.
Tests like these are referred to as diagnostic assessments and can give your cardiologist a great deal of critical information about your health and how to treat you moving forward. And while there’s no real way to cram for your next stress test, there are things you can begin doing now to increase your chances of doing well on a stress test in the future.

Lower Cholesterol
You’ve heard of plaque that can build up on the inside of your veins and arteries. This plaque is caused by cholesterol in your blood. The build-up of this plaque makes it more difficult for your heart to successfully move blood from to and from your heart leading to high blood pressure and even heart attacks. High cholesterol is caused primarily by your diet, so if you’ve tested high in cholesterol your doctor has probably recommended that you eliminate certain fats, increase your fiber intake, and get more exercise.

Lower Blood Pressure
In addition to the extra pressure required to move blood through narrowed veins and arteries, high blood pressure can be brought on by external forces like alcohol, caffeine, and stress. If your blood pressure is continually higher than normal and dietary changes aren’t doing the trick, consider cutting back on your daily caffeine and alcohol intake. And if that doesn’t do the trick, you may want to take a good hard look at your lifestyle and try hard to minimize or better manage stress.

Lose Weight
It’s common knowledge that obesity is a factor in heart disease. But how exactly does obesity impact the results of your stress test? Often, obese patients also have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But in addition to those factors, the effort it takes to move an overweight body on a treadmill or even just through the grocery store is significantly higher and can put a lot of pressure on their hearts. Often, healthy weight loss is a side effect of efforts to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and you’ll find it makes stress test success come much more easily.

As it turns out there are no easy tips for passing your next stress test. But, by making considerable efforts to adjust your diet and lifestyle you can ensure that your next one will be better than your last. In the end, all of these changes will contribute to your overall heart health and help you to live a longer and healthier life. For more information about heart-healthy living, or for questions about this or any other diagnostic assessment, contact us today.