Fitness trackers and other wearables have come a long way from just counting your steps. They can now recognize heart disease, and there’s currently a study going on to see if they can also recognize the dangers of a stroke.
Additionally, they are now being used more frequently to track VO2 Max, a measurement of how well the body uses oxygen when working out at a maximum level. This measurement was previously reserved for only high-end sports watches, but it’s now beginning to be included on fitness trackers such as several by Fitbit, Garmin, Huawei.
Why VO2 Max Measurement Is Important
Your VO2 Max measurement is a reflection of your aerobic fitness and speaks to your endurance during lengthy exercise. The higher the level, the more fit you are, taking into consideration age, sex, genetics, etc.
Basically, the term means your maximum volume of oxygen. When you see “mL/kg/min),” this is what it’s measuring, your VO2, or how many milliliters of oxygen are used in one minute per kilogram of body weight.
Traditionally, this is measured while running on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike, with the intensity being increased incrementally while you wear a mask that is measuring ventilation, oxygen, and carbon dioxide concentration of the air you are inhaling and exhaling. When your consumption reaches a steady value, it’s your VO2 Max.
Fitness trackers begin by combining your resting heart rate, age, gender, weight, and other information, then use the relationship between pace and heart rate during your exercise. Reaching this measurement requires you to exercise for at least 10 minutes, preferably while also monitoring GPS. You may need to do this several times to get an accurate score.
Improving Your VO2
It’s an important measurement to improve, as it will help your stress level, overall fitness, endurance, and will also help prevent aging and aid immunity. One of the best ways to improve your VO2 Max is by exercising regularly and having healthy weight loss. Increasing your exercise may help increase your score by 20 percent over a two- to three-month period.
There’s no set score you want to achieve, but the higher the amount, the healthier your fitness level. A sedentary male has a VO2 Max of about 35 to 40 mL/kg/min, while a female scores 27 to 30. Elite male runners have VO2 Max levels up to 85, while females have up to 77. A healthy VO2 Max for a 25-year-old male is thought to be between 42.5 and 46.4, with a female’s being between 33.0 and 36.9.
Many fitness trackers these days track VO2 Max. Are you interested to know what yours is? Would you purchase a wearable just to see what your VO2 is? Tell us in the comments.