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By now you’re not just concerned but actively engaged in improving your fitness level. You’ve looked at your diet and exercise habits. You know how age affects their efficiency.

If you came here from our previous article, you already know that your VO2 max rating is one of the best metrics you can learn and keep track of for overall longevity.  

VO2 Max so important that in 2016 the American Heart Association published an official statement recommending that health professionals routinely measure VO2 Max. It is officially considered a vital sign along with blood pressure, body temperature, respiration, and heart rates.

You may even use personal health tracking devices. They monitor heart rate, how and when we exercise, the number of calories burned each day, number of steps taken, etc.  It’s OK if you’re not at that point yet. These devices help, but they do not provide the comprehensive perspective a doctor can by assessing the data.

At Because Health, we have the means to measure and improve your VO2 Max, optimizing your aerobic health.

How to measure VO2 max

“VO2 Max” is the method of assessing the level of oxygen your body takes in and delivers to your skeletal system, muscles, brain, and vital organs. It puts a proper metric to all these factors. It is a number which can then be compared to future exams to track your progress. In more technical terms, when you perform intense workouts, the peak oxygen consumption of your body can now be precisely assessed.  

The actual measurement of VO2 max is a ratio of how much oxygen is consumed when compared to your body weight, per minute of exertion, through aerobic exercise. A greater VO2 max indicates that you are in better cardiovascular health.  If we improve that VO2 max, we decrease our risk of having a cardiovascular event because what it shows is that we improved our cardiovascular health if you’re able to improve that VO2 max.

Vo2 max is best tested in a laboratory. During a Vo2 max test, you wear a special face mask that measures how much air you inhale and exhale while exercising. You gradually increase the difficulty of your intervals until you hit your limit.

The test is usually done while riding a stationary bike or running on a treadmill. However, there are various different versions that can be utilized to simulate sport-specific situations.

What is a good VO2 max?

Although there is no single "ideal" value for everyone, those people engaged in an athletic lifestyle, professional athletes, and even those who take the time to exercise consistently and intensely tend to have a greater VO2 max and may have already reached their maximal aerobic capacity. VO2 max does naturally decline with age. However regular exercise can lower the severity of this.  

In studies that examined VO2 max by age in women 18-45, average levels ranged from 27ml of oxygen per kilogram of body weight each min, to over 77ml when comparing sedentary people to active people.  In the case of males, oxygen consumption ranged from 35ml to over 85ml when tested on the same range of activity levels in the age group. Decreasing body weight was shown to be a clear contributing factor in better VO2 max ratings.

We once again invite you to contact the doctors at one of our Better Health Longevity Clinics to come in and set up your own VO2 max assessment today. Our next article will go over the details of how the test is administered and you might be surprised at just how easily this knowledge can be yours through a simple, painless examination of your abilities.

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