Q What is VO2max and why is it important?

A VO2max is your body's ability to use oxygen. Your body needs oxygen in order for your muscles to move and function. In regards to exercise, this is very important because the better your body is at using oxygen, the better cardiovascular condition you will be in.

If you are not in good cardiovascular condition, then you will not be able to exercise for long durations at challenging intensities. However, once you discover what level of cardiovascular condition you are in with a VO2max test, you can then devise a cardiovascular program for yourself. VO2max can be measured with a heart monitor and a treadmill, for example. Perform a VO2max test every eight weeks and then you can begin to track progress and put positive pressure on yourself to improve over time. The better your VO2max is, the more fit and lean you will become because it is directly related to your body fat percentage.

Send health or fitness questions to


Rules for posting comments

Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum. Read our guidelines for posting. If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon next to the comment.