Have you hit a plateau in your weight loss? Hitting weight loss plateaus can be frustrating. WeightWise is here to help you get past this common roadblock with a suggestion: Test your VO2 max!
Sometimes called maximal oxygen consumption (or uptake) or maximal aerobic capacity, VO2 is the maximum rate of a person’s oxygen consumption measured while performing exercises of increasing intensity.
VO2 and Health
The “V” stands for volume (per unit of time), and O2 stands for oxygen.
According to RunnersWord.com, VO2 max is a definitive measurement of aerobic fitness.
“It’s an excellent measurement of current health and predictor of future health,” they write. “In fact, (the) American Heart Association has argued that it should be classified as a new ‘vital sign’ to be assessed yearly by your doctor.”
HealthLine has a similar assessment.
“VO2 max refers to how much oxygen your body can absorb and use during exercise,” they write. “(A) high VO2 max can be a good predictor of your athletic performance, especially if you’re a runner or a swimmer. Your VO2 max amount can also act as a benchmark to track your progress as you improve your athletic abilities or if you’re trying to keep your VO2 max at a certain level to maintain your performance.”
If you find that you are plateauing with your weight loss — in other words, the scales haven’t been moving downward much lately, or worse, they’ve gone up — then you might consider testing your VO2.
We suggest that people who want to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle should exercise for 30 minutes at least four days per week. However, for those who have already been doing this, they may begin to actually work against themselves — or else they’re simply no longer working hard enough.
This can be a hard pill to swallow considering how difficult it can be to motivate oneself to exercise and then to power through the exercises themselves.
VO2 exercises and monitoring can help figure out how to get back on track. These exercises last between eight minutes and 12 minutes.
We have people walk on a treadmill while attempting to get a steady increase in their heart rates. We look to see where people are utilizing fat as energy versus using carbohydrates. This test takes all the guesswork out of your workout and can provide valuable information on how to better create an exercise regimen that works for you!
The good news is that your weight loss journey and losing fat is more than just the number on a scale. What we want is for people to benefit from long-term weight loss efforts and strength training (building muscle) as part of an overall program of exercise routines, fitness and wellbeing.
For example, we all know that increasing muscle mass can lead to weight gains or a weight-loss stall. We also know that muscle training can burn more calories than other types of exercise. Research showing various weight loss plans and the number of calories burned versus calorie intakes (i.e., portion sizes) all play a major role.
The point is, there are more ways to measure health and fitness than by how much weight one loses. The number on the scale does represent an important piece of data. But we can use other methods to measure progress. Then, we can build better exercise programs for individuals based on their specific needs.
If you have any questions, contact WeightWise today.