In the largest study to date on cardiovascular fitness in healthy people, researchers from Sweden found that increasing your exercise and fitness levels is linked to living longer, no matter what your age or current fitness level.
They found that for each milliliter increase in Vo2 max, the risk of death from any cause and of a cardiovascular event like a heart attack dropped by 2.8 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. That, quite simply, is massive. Why would you not future-proof yourself against cardiovascular disease?
For our tribe here at ReDefined, I have always been passionate about measuring our Vo2 max, understanding it, and making sure we sit in a healthy range. This doesn't have to be at an athletic level, but based on evidence from leading neuroscientist Paul Taylor, the attached image gives you a guide of where your Vo2 max should sit.
How do you increase your Vo2 max?
You can increase your Vo2 max in two ways: by increasing the amount of blood your heart can pump and by increasing how much oxygen your muscles can take up.
You can train your Vo2 max most efficiently by working at a high intensity, training 90 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate in short bursts
Working near your max heart rate helps strengthen the muscles in your heart and increases the volume of blood that pumps with each heart beat. You should aim for a minimum of two high-intensity sessions per week, start with short workouts and build from there. When you first start trying to increase your Vo2 max, virtually any type of high- intensity training will likely have a positive effect. As you get more well-trained, the gains will come slower and you’ll have to train at a higher level to continue improving.
You can make your training harder by increasing how often you work out, the duration of your workout, or how hard you train during the workout.
Confused about how to measure your Vo2 max? There have been a number of technological innovations around smart watches that can help
Here's a quick summary of options for Vo2 max testing:
Smart Watches Apple watches, Samsung watches, Garmin, Fitbit all have an inbuilt function to measure your V02 max, by tracking your workout data. Be sure to check in that your weight, age, and height are correct.
The good old Beep test! Take the beep test and use the following V02 max calculator to assess. https://www.topendsports.com/testing/beepcalc.htm
The other option is to undertake the 15 min Cooper Test. For any of our ReDefined tribe, go to our custom lifestyle and nutrition app - WellBeing ReDefined- click on the workouts function, Then ReDefined Tribe Workouts, and select the Cooper Test. This submaximal 15 min test you can be done anywhere, anytime, and will give you your base Vo2 max to measure, record and improve.
The goal we have set through this 10 week training cycle is to improve our Vo2 max by 10-20%.
Now you know you are future-proofing yourself, how motivated are you to maintain a healthy Vo2 max??
Jimmy - ReDefined Founder