June 18, 2023

How Fit Are You? Your “VO2 Max” Score Will Tell You

What is Vo2 Max and why is it important?

Your VO2 Max measurement indicates how well your heart and veins push blood to your muscles and the rest of your body.

Many of you have a VO2 max measurement on your FitBit or iPhone watches and may be thinking it’s not pertinent to you. Not true! In reality, it’s one of the most basic indications as to how fit and healthy you are. 
VO2 Max…
VO2 max, or maximal oxygen consumption is the measurement of the amount (volume) of oxygen your body uses while exercising as hard as you can. It’s a common tool to understand your overall fitness level. Knowing your VO2 max can help you improve your heart health. If you are a regular Mojo friend, it’s likely is your VO2 max level is pretty good! 

Why is it important? When we breathe, we inhale oxygen into our blood. Our heart pumps the blood into our muscles. That oxygen fuels chemical reactions that give our muscles energy. We breathe more quickly and deeply while exercising because our muscles need more energy to work harder. 

VO2 max measures how much oxygen we breathe in while exercising as hard as we can. The more oxygen we inhale, the more energy our body can use. Higher VO2 Max usually means better physical fitness. 

Why Is Vo2 Max Important?
Our VO2 Max shows us how well our heart and veins push blood to our muscles and the rest of our body. Knowing your VO2 Max can help you measure your fitness and heart health improvements. 

Vo2 max is dependent on a number of factors such as:

  • Your red blood cells count
  • Your participation in cardiovascular activities
  • Genetics 
  • Your Body composition
  • The amount of blood your heart pumps per beat
In summary, your VO2 max measures how aerobically fit you are as an individual – and improving that number will make you more efficient in using oxygen.
How to increasing your Vo2 Max

If you still look pretty after your workout, it’s likely you need to take it up a notch.

Low levels of cardiovascular endurance (and consequently a low VO2 max score) correlate to an increased risk of heart disease. And choosing to increase your overall levels of cardiovascular fitness is associated with benefits such as:
  • Enhanced quality of life
  • Reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep
  • A longer, healthier life
What Should Your VO2 Max Be?
There’s no single number that everyone should reach. VO2 max varies from person to person.

How to Improve Your VO2 Max
According to Cleveland Clinic, the most effective training to increase your Vo2 Max is HIIT exercise and high-intensity interval training (aka. Mojo!) When you perform an exercise as hard as you can for a short amount of time, rest for short periods, and then repeat for multiple rounds of different exercises.

Other ways to improve Vo2 Max:

  • Regular exercise: The best way to improve your VO2 max is to exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Strength training: Strength training can help to improve your VO2 max by increasing your muscle mass. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, which means that it burns calories even when you are at rest.
  • Losing weight: If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to improve your VO2 max. Excess weight puts extra strain on your heart and lungs, which can make it harder to exercise.
  • Eating a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help to improve your VO2 max by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to recover from exercise and build muscle.

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