Working from home: Performance coach provides exercise tips
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VO2 max describes the total amount of oxygen your body can absorb and use while you’re exercising. It’s a relatively good indicator of your cardiovascular health, but it can be difficult to know what your VO2 max should be.
It’s a single number that’s used by doctors and athletes to assess fitness.
The higher your VO2 max – which is also sometimes known as oxygen uptake – the more oxygen your body can absorb during exercise.
The more oxygen your muscles get, the more nutrients can be transformed into energy.
You’ll need to have a really, really high VO2 max if you’re a professional athlete, but there’s a general rule for how much oxygen everyone should be able to absorb.
It’s not exactly easy to reveal your own VO2 max, however.
The tests are usually conducted in a lab or medical facility, and are co-ordinated by a cardiologist or doctor.]
Some personal trainers or fitness instructors will also be able to conduct VO2 max tests, though.
It’s measured in mL/kg/min, or metabolic equivalents (METS).
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VO2 max levels by age – how healthy are you?
Our VO2 max tends to decrease as we get older, peaking in your early 20s.
Once you hit 70 years old, your fitness levels tend to decline considerably more quickly.
The heart struggles to heat as fast as when you’re young, which means oxygen isn’t as readily moved around the body.
A healthy VO2 max is also separated by gender, with men generally requiring a higher oxygen uptake.
Average VO2 max scores for men by age
20-24 years old – 44-50mL/kg/min
25-29 years old – 43-48mL/kg/min
30-34 years old – 41-45mL/kg/min
35-39 years old – 39-43mL/kg/min
40-44 years old – 36-41mL/kg/min
45-49 years old – 35-39mL/kg/min
50-54 years old – 33-36mL/kg/min
55-59 years old – 31-34mL/kg/min
60-65 years old – 29-32mL/kg/min
Average VO2 max scored for women by age
20-24 years old – 37-41mL/kg/min
25-29 years old – 36-40mL/kg/min
30-34 years old – 34-37mL/kg/min
35-39 years old – 32-35mL/kg/min
40-44 years old – 30-33mL/kg/min
45-49 years old – 28-31mL/kg/min
50-54 years old – 26-29mL/kg/min
55-59 years old – 24-27mL/kg/min
60-65 years old – 22-24mL/kg/min
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