Are you over 35 years old, a current or previous smoker or overweight, but considering to start training for a sports event that definitely will push your borders? In that case or if you are unsure about your fitness level, it may be wise to undergo a physical examination and exercise stress test first. Based on your physical load capacity, heart rate, ECG and blood pressure response, a sport and exercise physician can advise you on your individual heart rate training zones and provide you with more specific training advice.
If indicated, you can also be referred for additional blood tests, a CT-angiogram of your coronary arteries and/ or a follow-up appointment with a cardiologist for advice and possibly an echocardiogram.
You can check your own cardiovascular risk on http://www.cvdcheck.org.au/.
If your cardiovascular risk exceeds 10%, if you have unexplained loss of fitness or have noticed that it takes longer to recover from intense exercise, it may be particularly useful to undergo a symptom-limited exercise ECG stress test with dynamic blood pressure monitoring. In certain cases you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate to determine your coronary CT calcium score.