I do my best to “walk my talk” as a health coach because I truly believe what I encourage my clients to do is also good for me. I wanted to share with you what I have been working on lately. I have a goal to increase my VO2 max. Basically, VO2 is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. Have you ever watched elite marathon runners on TV? They make running look easy despite the 5 minute mile pace they are maintaining (in fact, this past Sunday the record was broken at the Berlin Marathon. The winner came in at 2 hours and 2 minutes!!) This is due to a very high VO2 max (amongst other things). Non elite runners and even non runners can and should work on their VO2 as it is a great marker for cardiovascular health. Many websites have VO2 max charts. I use Garmins. The top of the chart are age ranges and along the side are the terms Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor. When I look at my age range and move down to my current VO2 I am in the good range. How do I know my Vo2? My watch tells me so it is probably not as accurate as going to a test center. I will share an article that explains how to do the test on your own and possible places the seek out a more reliable test. In Beaufort, Dr. Trask will perform this test for his patients (other places that could test this in Beaufort would be LifeFit Wellness Center, EarthFit and possibly Carolina Sportscare as they have a wellness component now. Like I said, according to the charts I am “good” but I use to be better than excellent and this decrease is bothering me. There are many ways to increase your VO2 max. As a runner, I can do track workouts and or hill repeats. I am doing hill repeats (in Beaufort that is the bridge). There are non running ways to increase this marker as well- mainly taking part in interval training. For example, you could do this on a bike or an elliptical or even rower. Go at your max effort for 60 seconds or 45 or even 20 seconds and then rest and repeat this for a set amount of time. I was interested in seeing if there were other ways to increase VO2 beyond what I already was doing. I found a workout that caught my attention. It is performing 10 burpees every minute for 20 minutes. I tried this. I put my phone timer on twenty and had it count down. I took off with the burpees. I was over it by the time I got to ten minutes. Not sure if I was physically tired or mentally. I think it was more mental. Quitting half way through was defeating. I thought of what I talk to my clients about- start small, so this is what I did.
1. I am performing this workout Monday mornings before I teach yoga.
2. I decided to start from 10 minutes and add a minute each week until I get to 20 minutes.
I finish the workouts feeling better about myself and stronger. I feel successful and encouraged.
Whatever change you want to make no matter how big or small write it down and make a realistic plan for attack. Start small. Take manageable bites which leads to feelings of success which will ignite your intrinsic motivation. Feelings of success feels good and you will want to come back for more.
Reach out and let me know what you are currently working towards. What’s your plan of attack?
For more information on VO2 max, click HERE