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Aerobic Fitness Information

Aerobic Fitness. Its meaning and significance Why Is Aerobic Fitness Important? Absolute And Relative Vo2 max
Methods For Measuring Aerobic Fitness Fitness Norms in the Population Fitness Terminology

Methods For Measuring Aerobic Fitness
Direct measurement of Vo2 max is determined by having the subject perform exercise at increased loads, for 12 to 15 minutes. A stationary bicycle or a treadmill are typically used. The test starts with a moderate work load which is maintained for a few minutes. The load is increased gradually every few minutes until reaching the maximum level that the subject can tolerate. This is done by increasing the cycling resistance or the speed and grade of the treadmill. The oxygen uptake measured at the maximal load is the subject's Vo2 max . The higher the Vo2 max, the more work one can perform; thus, the better the level of aerobic fitness. These laboratory methods to determine aerobic fitness require maximal work, are expensive, and are beyond the reach and capability of most people.

An alternative method for determining aerobic fitness involves the measurement of heart rate. The ability to perform aerobic work depends upon the delivery of oxygen to the muscles. Oxygen is delivered by the circulatory system and each heart beat indicates a quantity of blood pumped by the heart. Heart rate (HR) is, therefore, a good measure of the severity of exercise. Young people can increase their HR to high levels and deliver large amounts of oxygen to the muscles which is a major reason why their aerobic fitness is better than that of older people. The low maximal HR in old people is the major cause of their reduced aerobic fitness. Other age-related causes of decreased aerobic fitness include a reduction in muscle mass and an increase in body fat.


Training results in an increase in the efficiency of oxygen transport within the body. By lowering the resting HR, and heart rates at sub maximal loads, the heart pumps more blood with every heart beat. This, and other physiological changes, increase the oxygen transport capability. When an individual is tested before and after training while performing exercise at the same load, a lower HR is shown after training because more blood (thus, oxygen) is delivered in each heart beat. Such HR differences during exercise can be used to predict aerobic fitness. The available methods to predict Vo2 max consist of HR measurements during the performance of sub-maximal exercise. Since a fit person shows a lower HR than an unfit one when exercising at the same load (same oxygen uptake) and the maximal HR for each age group is known, it becomes possible to extrapolate the oxygen uptake-HR curve to the maximal HR where it represents Vo2 max. Age and sex differences in HR have to be considered. At least 3-5 minutes of exercise has to be performed because it takes several minutes for the HR to level off to the point where it represents the correct level of effort. In most methods of this type, at least three 3 to 5-minutes of testing at each load has to be performed. This type of testing is best done with a treadmill or cycle which automates the test to eliminate the possibility of human error in reading and recording the heart rate and calculating the results. Another option is to use the Universal Fitness Tester which will determine your aerobic fitness in only 30 seconds and is much less expensive than a treadmill or cycle.

 

Aerobic Fitness. Its meaning and significance Why Is Aerobic Fitness Important? Absolute And Relative Vo2 max
Methods For Measuring Aerobic Fitness Fitness Norms in the Population Fitness Terminology

 


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