These days, it feels like there are nearly countless ways to measure and track your fitness. One you may not yet be familiar with is your VO2 max. This is a useful stat to understand because it offers insight on how well your body takes in and processes oxygen, which is indicative of your heart and muscle performance.

What is VO2 max?

Your VO2 max is a measurement of the maximum volume of oxygen that your body can process—think of it as the amount of oxygen you can process at 100% effort during rigorous physical activity. This measurement accounts for your lung capacity, heart volume, capillary delivery of oxygen, and muscle efficiency extracting oxygen from the blood. By understanding your VO2 max, you’ll be able to improve your training routine so that you can raise your endurance in any given activity. 

How do you measure your VO2 max?

Accurately measuring VO2 max requires laboratory testing, which isn’t exactly a practical option. However, many modern, high-end fitness trackers offer a close approximation. Alternatively, you can calculate your VO2 max with an online calculator that utilizes info like your resting heart rate, height, and weight to determine your number. The higher your VO2 max is, the better your fitness.

How can you raise your VO2 max?

Having a high VO2 max doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to move like a pro athlete. However, you will be more capable of training faster and harder to further improve your body’s capacity for oxygen. To raise your VO2 max, you need to continually push your limits by training at maximum effort in longer and longer intervals.

Understanding your current fitness level is essential for successfully starting or ramping up any exercise routine. To check in on your health and fitness, schedule an online doctor’s visit with MeMD today!

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