Exercise Challenge

This is a breathing test that will help your doctor check if your airway function changes when you exercise. You will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or cycle for 6 to 10 minutes. Breathing tests will be done before and after exercise. Your pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen level will also be monitored. This test will take 30 to 90 minutes.

Getting Ready for the Test

  • Do not exercise or eat a heavy meal for at least four hours before the test.

  • Please wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes, and exercise shoes.

  • If you have or have had a recent cold, flu, or other illness this test will need to be scheduled two weeks after the end of your illness.

  • Do not smoke on the day of the test.


You can keep using inhaled corticosteroids, but you will need to stop other certain medicines before this test. These include:

  • Albuterol: Stop for 6 hours before test.

  • Atrovent, Combivent, stop for 24hours before test.

  • Theophylline: Stop for 24 hours before test.

  • Breo Ellipta®: Stop for 48 hours before test.

  • Spiriva®, Incruse Ellipta®, Anoro Ellipta®, Trelegy®: Stop for 1 week before test.

  • Other medicine: Please hold_____________ for __________.

After the Test

You should feel fine after this test. If you have any shortness of breath or wheezing you may be given a few puffs of medicine from an albuterol inhaler to get rid of these symptoms. Albuterol may cause one to feel slightly shaky for a short time. You will be able to eat, drink, and keep your normal routine after the test. Your doctor will discuss your test results with you.

When to Call

Call if you have any questions or concerns before your test.

Who to Call

UWHC Pulmonary Function Lab

Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm

(608) 263-7000 or (800) 323-8942

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.