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V02 max – increase your oxygen uptake



VO2 MAX with PerformancePro Fitness

How to increase your oxygen consumption to help safeguard against respiratory illnesses including COVID-19. Take a breath and find out how to improve your oxygen levels this winter.

VO2 max – a definition

VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise. The name is derived from three abbreviations: “V” for volume, “O2” for oxygen, and “max” for maximum.

VO2 (or oxygen consumption) is a measure of the volume of oxygen that is used by your body to convert the energy from the food you eat into the energy molecules. It is commonly used to test the aerobic endurance or cardiovascular fitness of athletes / individuals before and at the end of a training cycle. VO2 max is measured in millilitres of oxygen consumed in one minute, per kilogram of body weight (mL/kg/min). 

VO2 max and COVID-19

A recent article by the Royal College of Physicians gives detailed information on the links between respiratory illnesses like Flu and COVID-19 and your VO2 max

COVID-19 – does exercise prescription and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) have a role in risk-stratifying patients?

To summarise

  • The Centre of Perioperative Care has already issued expert guidance advocating for ‘brisk exercise’, smoking cessation, alcohol-free days and good nutrition as preventative measures in this outbreak.
  • It is hoped that these simple measures will reduce the risk of patients requiring hospital admission, and potentially precondition ‘high risk’ patients prior to infection with COVID-19. 
  • We propose that even a small increase in baseline maximal oxygen uptake (V02 max) across the population may have the effect of shifting a significant proportion of high-risk patients into a lower risk category.

How to improve your oxygen uptake this winter

  • Running or Cycling – set a 5k target time or a target distance on the bike  
  • A great way to improve VO2 is through HIIT / Interval training. Ask your PerformancePro coach to advise on a session that you can do in your own home.

How to measure your VO2 max

An accurate test must be done in a lab, but you can try this basic formula, or check out the functions on your sports watch  

15 x MAX HR  / RESTING HR = VO2 

Check out the Garmin VO2 Max Standard Ratings for your score

PerformancePro – we’re here for you

Remember we’re here for you whether or not you can make it to PerformancePro’s training studio. If you’ve any questions about your oxygen uptake or your training in general, just get in touch.

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