May 24th, 2018

Measuring VO2max Fitness with your Amazfit Stratos for Health and Performance

More than just an activity tracker, the Amazfit Stratos is a true fitness tracker. When you go out for a run with your Stratos, the Firstbeat analytics engine uses information about how fast you’re running combined with how hard your body is working to calculate your VO2max, the scientific measure that defines your cardiorespiratory fitness.

It’s not just about what you are doing. It’s how you are doing. Is your workout regimen working for you? Your Stratos will show you the results.

Cardiorespiratory fitness also sometimes referred to as aerobic fitness, or aerobic performance capacity, plays an important role in sports and life. Whether you are training for a marathon or just looking to be healthier, feel better, and reduce your stress, understanding fitness in terms of VO2max is a game changer.

So why is VO2max so important?

Few metrics carry as much insight into health and performance as VO2max. One reason is because it’s a single number that reveals how well your heart, lungs, cardiovascular system, and muscles are all working together.

Oxygen enters your body through your lungs, where it is mixed into your blood supply. Your heart pumps this oxygenated blood around your body, through the arteries to your muscles, where it is used to help produce energy aerobically.

When you challenge yourself regularly with physical activity of sufficient intensity, your body responds. It adapts, making this process work more efficiently, which is reflected in an increase in your VO2max. As you get fitter, your workouts will feel easier, life will feel easier, and you’ll experience less stress throughout the day.

In addition to your current fitness level, which you can see on your watch, you can track changes in your fitness level and look for trends in the Amazfit app. Historically, measuring your fitness meant a visit to a sports scientist or health professional, who would put you through your paces in an exhaustive treadmill test while you wore a mask that analyzed your respiratory gases.

Today, thanks to some nifty number crunching by the Firstbeat analytics engine built into your Amazfit Stratos, you can check in on your fitness level with near laboratory accuracy every time you go out for a run. The analysis combines the results of tens of thousands of laboratory results, advanced mathematical modeling techniques, and special insight into how your body works at a physiological level.

You can pinpoint the right level of activity to ensure you hit your goals.

I know my VO2max, so now what?

Once you’ve been for a few outdoor runs with your Amazfit Stratos, your watch will have a good understanding of your current fitness level. Then it’s time to put that information to use.  In addition to your VO2max, your Stratos will reveal how your fitness stacks up against other people of similar age and gender. This context is valuable because fitness usually declines with age - typically beginning around age 30 - and because of differences in average body composition between men and women. 

From there, you may decide that you are happy with your current level, or you may recognize need for improvement. Whether you want to step it up a notch, or just want to maintain your current fitness level, your Amazfit Stratos can reveal the specific impact of each workout your record on your VO2max.  

Endurance athletes are usually eager to increase their VO2max as high as possible, so if you’re training for a long race, the sky’s the limit. For most people, however, the primary focus will be on ensuring you are fit enough to achieve health benefits.

According to a recent position paper by the American Heart Association, low cardiorespiratory fitness - which is measured in terms of VO2max - is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and specific mortality risk from breast, digestive and colon cancers.

They also cite VO2max fitness levels as being a better indicator of mortality than previously identified risk factors like smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, and type-2 diabetes.

Fortunately, practically anyone can improve their VO2max with regular physical activity performed with sufficient intensity. More good news is the fact that poor fitness levels are the easiest to improve upon.  Although, the fitter you are, the harder you’ll need to work to improve.

Keen to boost your VO2max?

Your Amazfit Stratos will help you connect the dots between specific workouts and their impact on the development of aerobic performance capacity.

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Herman Bonner, Communications Specialist at Firstbeat

Firstbeat is the leading provider of physiological analytics for sports and well-being. Firstbeat transforms heartbeat data into personalized information on exercise, stress and recovery. Hundreds of elite sports teams, wellness professionals, and millions of consumers worldwide trust Firstbeat to enhance performance and well-being. For more information visit https://www.firstbeat.com