Have a Healthy Heart? Take this 2-Minute Test to Find Out

Want to know if you have a healthy heart?

 Have some stairs? 

It only takes you two minutes or less to find out if you have a healthy heart or not. 

The European Society of Cardiology came up with a test that almost anyone can do at home that is almost as accurate as an expensive cardiology lab, so no need to go to the doctors office and throw on electrodes to see if you have a healthy ticker.

Here is the test, climb 4 flights of stairs in under 90 seconds. 

If you can’t do that, your health is suboptimal and they recommend you go see a doctor.

Here are more details for you.

Doctors took 165 symptomatic patients. They had patients walk or run on a treadmill and measured exercise capacity in metabolic equivalents (METs). They also generated images of the patients’ hearts during exercise.

After 15-20 minutes rest, they had patients climb 4 flights of stairs (60 total stairs). Patients that climbed the stairs in 40-45s generated 9-10 METs. That’s important because 10 METs generated during exercise has been shown to be 1% or less risk of mortality per year, or less than 10% mortality in 10 years

Patients who took longer than 90 seconds generated less than 8 METs, which is linked to 2-4% mortality per year, or 30% mortality in 10 years

Now for the imaging, they compared the times to the images generated during the treadmill test. Only 32% of the patients who completed the stairs in under 45 seconds had heart function abnormalities. 58% of patients who completed the stairs in over 90 seconds had heart function abnormalities. 

The researcher concluded that this would be a good test for the general population, but the mortality risks would be much lower.

What does this mean for you? If you want a quick test to see if you have good cardiovascular health, walk (don’t run) up 60 stairs in under 45 seconds. 

If you complete it in under 90 seconds, that’s okay but you can make improvements.

Over 90 seconds is not good and you should take steps to get back in shape. 

If you’re a hunter or even just someone who enjoys being outside, you need to make sure your heart is healthy. Climbing up a steep hill or mountain can put an untrained heart under stress.

Hunting can also include short bouts of intense physical activity, even if you hunt in a treestand. The adrenaline rush from “buck fever,” dragging your harvest out of the woods, and other aspects of hunting can put an untrained heart under stress it’s not used to. If you have an unhealthy heart, this has the potential to be very bad.

Need to improve your cardio? Or start a new workout routine? Sign up a free 10-minute coaching call to get started!

Disclaimer: The author of this article is not a medical doctor. This, and any other article on the website, should not be used as medical advice. Consult your doctor before starting any fitness regimen.

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