What Is VO2 MAX and How Do I Measure It?

While it may look like an overly complicated scientific term…

V02 Max is simply a metric to help measure your respiratory (lung) health and physical endurance.

VO2 Max is also referred to as “maximal oxygen uptake” and measures explicitly, the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise.

Like resting heart rate, and blood pressure, V02Max can be a good benchmark for your health that you can measure on occasion to track your health progress.

If you are not on an active exercise regimen, you may want to test your V02 Max once per year. If you are on an exercise regimen, you may want to test your V02 Max once every three months to monitor your progress.

Unlike resting heart rate and blood pressure, which are best tested when the body is at rest, the goal of testing your V02 Max is to test your body when it is performing an intense physical activity.

The most accurate testing of V02 Max is performed in a sports performance lab, but a very popular and easy to perform self-test is called the Rockport Walk Test.

Using the Rockport Walk Test, you walk as briskly as you can for 1 mile. The test can be performed on an outdoor track (4 laps) or on a treadmill. Your pace should be consistent throughout the entire mile. To begin:
1. Perform a light warm-up and stretch
2. Start a stopwatch
3. Start walking briskly
4. After 1 mile, stop the stopwatch
5. Immediately measure your heart rate

To measure your heart rate at completion of your 1 mile walk, you can use a fitness device like FitBit or the Apple Watch or you can manually calculate. To manually calculate your heart rate, take your pulse for 10 seconds and then multiplying how many times your heart beats x 6, to determine your heart rate.

Using the calculator shown on this link (click here), you will input:
– Gender
– Age
– Weight
– Heart rate at time of completion
– Time to complete 1 mile walk

Once you use the calculator to determine your V02 Max, you can use the chart below to gauge how your score rates.

As you work on your cardiovascular fitness, you should see your VO2 Max increase and your stamina improve.

In Tari App, you can keep up with improvements in your VO2 Max, measuring the increase or decrease over custom time-periods. You can view this data from the Reports page in the app.

V02 Max is one of the key metrics to measure your respiratory health. Start tracking your VO2Max in Tari App today!

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