VO2Max is a term that might make you switch off. It sounds too technical, and besides, don't you have enough issues to deal with instead of trying to learn complicated terms about the human body? But allow me to make it simple and useful.
Your body needs energy to function every second you are alive. Unlike the car parked in your garage, which does not need energy, your body is always switched on.
It therefore needs a continuous supply of energy.
To produce energy, it breaks down whatever it can find—carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This process is called metabolism and requires oxygen.
VO2Max, then, is the maximum amount of oxygen that you can deliver to your body at any given point in time.
Beyond your level, your body will switch to producing energy without oxygen, but that can last only a few seconds.
So think of the time when your body said, This much and no more. That was your VO2Max.
VO2Max is then the peak energy your body can produce, fuelled by oxygen at any given point in time. Naturally, the higher, the better.
Much like your bones and muscles, your levels start to dip in your late twenties and early thirties. If you do not do something to sustain your levels, each decade you will lose approximately 10% of your capacity.
It is for this reason that, as you get older, you feel tired more easily.
In case you are thinking this is a metric only for exercise buffs, let the thought wither. Your VO2Max level matters all the time. Even at rest.
Remember that the brain takes up almost 55% of your total energy consumption at any point. How efficiently you deliver this energy will determine the load on your heart and blood supply systems.
VO2Max matters, regardless of how active or inactive you are.
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