Can you exercise while wearing a heart monitor?

Can you exercise while wearing a heart monitor?

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If you are undergoing a heart health check, your doctor or cardiologist might have fitted you with a heart monitor, also called a Holter monitor, cardiac event monitor or ambulatory ECG monitor. Your doctor will be expecting you to wear it for several days or even a week while continuing with your daily life and you might wonder what accurately you can and cannot do while wearing it. Read on if you are planning on having a heart health check or your doctor recommended a Holter monitor test for you.

What is a heart monitor?

A heart monitor is a medical device that records the small electrical signals your heart muscle sends to the surface of your skin around your heart area and displays it in a graph full of peaks and dips. In its functionality, a heart monitor performs the same electrocardiogram test; just like a traditional ECG you might have had in a hospital. Unlike the short trace a hospital ECG produces while you sit or lie, a Holter monitor is a wearable heart monitor that records your ECG continuously over several days. Learn more about heart and Holter monitors here.

How is a heart monitor worn?

A Holter monitor has two parts: a box and wires with patches. The box is equipped with a memory card that stores the ECG data and is either attached to your belt or worn around your neck. The box is associated to the patches through wires. Each patch holds an electrode that captures the heart’s electrical signals. Traditional heart monitors necessitate skin preparation where the doctor will sometimes need to scrape off the top layer of your skin and always use conductivity gels to enhance the signal quality.

What activities can I do with a heart monitor? And what can’t I do?

In theory, an ambulatory ECG monitor is designed to be worn while you go about your life and carry on with your daily activities. However, in practice, there are certainly many activities that might reason detachment of the patches or even damage to the monitor. First of all, you cannot shower, take a bath or swim with a traditional holter monitor as these devices are not waterproof or even water resistant. If you are looking for a better way to continuously monitor your ECG, QardioCore offers a way to do so. It is water and sweat resistant and it can remove for a shower or bath without the need for a professional fitting. This is something traditional holter monitors simply cannot do.

Can I work out with a holter monitor?

Although your doctor might allow you to exercise while wearing a heart monitor, you should be aware that frequent movement and perspiration might loosen the adhesives and pull away the patches and hence compromise the quality of the recorded ECG trace, making it hard or impossible to perform diagnosis of the test. Also, as traditional cardiac event monitors cannot be removed during the testing period, so taking a shower or bath after a workout is not possible.

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