VO2 Max Explained
VO2 Max is the metric that defines your personal cardiorespiratory/aerobic fitness level. It is your body’s ability to use its most efficient energy source — Oxygen.
Your body needs oxygen to walk, jump, run, move, and simply function. The more oxygen your body can process and feed your muscles with, the more energy you produce to go faster, stronger, further and longer. This processing-feeding-producing ability is your maximum aerobic capacity, also known as your VO2 Max, or the maximum amount of oxygen your body uses per minute.
The higher your VO2 Max, the fitter you are and the younger your Fitness Age! If your score is lower than you’d like, good news — you can work on improving it with frequent physical activity! VO2 Max Fitness Level classification ranges from “very poor” to “excellent”. Check out the VO2 Max Fitness Level Classification for males and females.
Most of us will reach optimum fitness and physical levels in our 20s. However, beginning from our mid-30s, it starts to decline by about 10% per decade. Should this fact worry us if the only activity we do each day is run for the morning train? If we are not professional athletes, is there a need to monitor our VO2 Max?
Short answer: Yes.
Comparing your VO2 Max score with others in the same age group is a good indicator of your fitness level. If your VO2 Max is below average for your age group, it might mean that you need to start investing time in aerobic activity. A lower VO2 Max (your body processes less oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute) has been associated with “high risks of cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and mortality rates attributable to various cancers” (American Heart Association, 2016).
In other words, the higher your VO2 Max, the healthier you are, and the younger you feel. Don’t we all want that?
Start your VO2 Max measurement with the Actxa Spur+ or Actxa Spark+! Create a healthy-intensity exercise plan (the kind where you can only talk in spurts between breaths) and work out at least thrice a week, monitoring your progress as you go.
Slowly but surely you’ll start feeling more energetic and strong, as your body increases its ability to utilise oxygen more efficiently.