For this College of Health and Human Sciences mini-marathon deal, we were all provided the opportunity to participate in body composition testing as well as cardiovascular fitness testing.
The second test was for cardiovascular fitness. The outcome was a measure of maximal oxygen consumption or VO2 max. VO2 max depends on how much blood can be pumped by the heart in one minute, the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen, and the amount of exercising skeletal muscle and that muscles' ability to use the oxygen supplied by the blood. My result completely surprised me. I've been working out fairly regularly over the past year, but I wouldn't say I'm in great shape. I can barely run 3 miles without dying! My VO2 max is 52 ml Oxygen/ kg-min. That puts me in the 99th percentile for girls my age and my cardiovascular fitness is "superior." What? Really? I would expect Lance Armstrong to be in the 99th percentile and to be considered to have superior cardiovascular fitness, but me? Not so much. Problem is, I'm being compared with all women my age. And most people in the US are sedentary. So if you compare me to sedentary people, then being in the 99th percentile is sad and logical at the same time. I looked into the situation a bit more and will post on that tomorrow. Get excited!