VO2 max is the maximum capacity of an individual's body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. The name is derived from V - volume per time, O2 - oxygen, max - maximum
Accurately measuring VO2 max involves a physical effort sufficient in duration and intensity to fully tax the aerobic energy system. In general clinical and athletic testing, this usually involves a graded exercise test (either on a treadmill or on a cycle ergometer) in which exercise intensity is progressively increased while measuring ventilation and oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air. VO2 max is reached when oxygen consumption remains at steady state despite an increase in workload.
The best way to improve your VO2 Max is to regulary partake in cardiovascular exercise. Exercises like rowing, cycling, swimming and running are all good ways to maintain and possibly improve your VO2 max. Age and gender cam impact your VO2 max result.
It is widely acknowledged as an excellent way of measuring physical fitness and as a result it is being used more and more throughout the UK as way of testing Firefighter fitness.
REMEMBER - warming up and cooling down are two ways of staying one step ahead of injury. You can find some good examples of both dynamic and maintenance stretches on our 'Warm up/Cool down page.
WARNING: Please seek advice from your Doctor before undergoing any exercise recommended on this site.