Whether it's a leisurely stroll in the park or an intense hike up a mountain. We all aspire to be healthier, fitter, and more energized.
Dr. Peter Attia has been doing quite a bit of research on the importance of muscle mass, strength, and cardiorespiratory fitness for longevity.
One way to achieve these goals is by increasing your VO2 max.
What is VO2 max, you ask? Well, it's not as complicated as it might sound. In simple terms, VO2 max is a measure of your body's ability to use oxygen during exercise. It's a key indicator of your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. The higher your VO2 max, the more oxygen your body can deliver to your muscles, allowing you to perform better and go farther in your physical pursuits.
I've noticed variability in this VO2 measurement in my own training. By the way, the higher the number, the better.
How does one know what their VO2 Max is?
The Apple Watch uses data such as your heart rate during exercise, age, gender, and other factors to estimate your VO2 max. This estimate is based on algorithms and is intended to give you a general idea of your cardiorespiratory fitness level.
While this can be a useful feature for tracking your fitness progress and setting personal goals, it should not be considered a definitive measurement of VO2 max. Lab-based testing, which involves the measurement of oxygen consumption during exercise, is the gold standard for accurately determining VO2 max.
It's worth noting that the accuracy of the Apple Watch's VO2 max estimate can vary based on factors such as the quality of the heart rate data and the type of exercise you're doing. For example, estimates may be less accurate during strength training compared to cardiovascular workouts. From what I've read, the watch does a pretty good job so it can be considered accurate enough for the average person's needs.
Currently, I am at about a VO2 max of about 36 which puts me in the 80th percentile. A few years ago, when I was training to climb Mt. Katahdin in Maine, my VO2 max was about 44 which put me in the 90th percentile for my age.
As a comparison, Norwegian cyclist Oskar Svendsen has an unbelievable VO2 max of 97.5!
This tells me I should be working on increasing my own VO2 max.
As always, before embarking on any exercise program, it is best to check in with your personal physician first.
In conclusion, increasing your VO2 max is a worthwhile endeavor that can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life. It's not just about becoming a super athlete; it's about improving your overall well-being, enhancing your energy levels, and enjoying a happier, more active life. So, lace up those sneakers, hop on that bike, or dive into the pool – your VO2 max journey begins with that first step, and the benefits are waiting for you at the finish line. And one way to achieve these goals is by increasing your VO2 max.
Check out Dr. Attia's video below for more info.
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In good health.
All the best.
Rick Fingerman, CFP®, CDFA®, CCPS®
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, health, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.