Why does aerobic capacity matter for overall health and wellness?

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With so many buzz words around health, fitness, nutrition, wellness (the list goes on) it can be hard at times to decipher what is real, and not just marketing, and what it all means for your overall well-being.
 
One of those words or terms that you may hear is ‘aerobic capacity’.  If the term aerobic immediately has you thinking about Jane Fonda step aerobics and sweating to some upbeat music you aren’t all that far off.  In simple terms, aerobic capacity tells us how much oxygen your body can use in one minute relative to your body weight (known as VO2max).  Factors such as your level and intensity of regular physical activity, the size and strength of your heart and the concentration of hemoglobin (oxygen carriers in the blood) will all impact your aerobic capacity.  It can be measured in numerous different ways, directly and indirectly, using heart rate, time, specific protocols and in some cases a metabolic cart. 
 
Aerobic capacity impacts your ability to withstand the physical demands of day to day chores, work tasks and family activities.  Your aerobic capacity impacts your ability to participate in physical activities with your friends and family on vacation, at the local recreation centre or during social gatherings.  It also impacts the level of independence you have and ability to care for yourself as you age or during injury or illness.  It impacts the ability to spend time in nature, as well as rely on physical activity for the benefits it provides to learning and our mental health.  Your aerobic capacity impacts your ability to sign up for a local walk/run, register for a new activity class or program or get back to playing your favorite sport.  In short, your aerobic capacity is highly linked to your overall quality of life and ability to take on physical challenges as well as the meaningful connections and opportunities to participate in some of life’s most precious moments.  Here is the best part, you can have a WHOLE LOT OF FUN while you build your aerobic capacity.  Each small step to include regular physical activity in your day to day life will influence your aerobic capacity, as will getting your heart rate up for some breathless sweaty activity a couple of times a week.  Essentially, moving, playing, exploring and a little personal challenge mixed in along the way. 
 
If this is a current goal of yours, chat with your FitMetabolism coach about your physical activity goals, how you think your aerobic capacity influences your life and/or how you think moving more may impact your overall well-being.  Stay tuned for more exciting things happening at FitMetabolism to support your overall aerobic health this year!
 
Another great way to get moving is to take part in PARTICIPACTION’s 150 Play List that just launched to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.  Check out the link for more options and start challenging yourself to try new activities that will keep you active and playing all year long.  
Ashley Fox