A lot of us use many different methods of figuring out how fit we are. Some of us look in the mirror, some of us see how out of breath we are after a workout, some of us look at how far or fast we can run. But all of these methods have their own flaws and don’t always tell us exactly how fit we really are when it comes to cardiovascular health.

The most accurate measurement of cardiovascular health to date is a measurement called VO2 Max It’s possible you have heard of it but don’t know exactly what it is. To put it simply its VO2 max is the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized in one minute during maximal or exhaustive exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. 

There are a lot of great tests to do to figure out your VO2 Max. The problem is that these tests are often very hard and are hard to test without the help of somebody who knows how to do the testing.

So I’m going to show you a fairly accurate way of figuring out your VO2 Max by using what is called a submaximal VO2 test. Which allows us to calculate how fit you are without you having to reach that max level of exercise.

This test is called the Rockport 1 mile walk test.

  • equipment required: stopwatch, smooth and level marked 1 mile track, paper and pencil,heart rate monitor(optional), bodyweight scales.
  • procedure: The purpose of this test is to walk as fast as possible for 1 mile. After you have completed the mile, immediately take your pulse rate. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, you can manually count the number of beats for 10 seconds, and then multiply that by 6 to get your minute heart rate. Note the time it took to complete the mile. You will also need to know your body weight for the VO2max calculation.

It’s important that during the test you walk as fast as you can and that you do not start to run or jog. It should always remain a walk or your test results might come out wrong. Also be sure to take your heart rate as soon as possible after so that you may get the most accurate results.

After the test take your information and enter it into this online calculator.

Enter your sex,age,weight,heart rate,and time into the spaces on the left side and hit calculate. You should receive data showing you your VO2 max as well as a rating of your health in comparison to the rest of the general population.

You can use this chart to help see where your VO2 max falls and how good of a score it is.

If your score isn’t that great don’t worry! You can always increase your score. All it takes is time dedication and you can get your cardiovascular health in tip top shape.