Vitality Cardio Fitness Levels

Understand this powerful predictor of fitness and health, learn how to track and improve your VO2 max to get fitter, plus earn Vitality rewards for your fitness level!


Find out why your cardio fitness (and VO2 max) is a powerful predictor of your current and future health.

Understand cardio fitness

Learn what cardio fitness and VO2 max mean - and why they matter for everyone.


What is cardio fitness?

Have you ever tracked your speed, distance covered, calorie burn or heart rate to get a sense of how fit you are?

The most accurate measure is actually your cardio fitness.

This refers to how well your respiratory and circulatory systems supply your body with enough oxygen to keep exercising.


What is VO2 max?

Cardio fitness is measured by tracking your VO2 max. This is the maximum amount of oxygen your heart, lungs and muscles can use when you're exercising.

V volume  

The higher your VO2 max score, the better your ability to use oxygen for longer when training.

Why should I care about my cardio fitness?

Research shows a clear link between cardio fitness, how long you'll live,
and how many of those years you'll enjoy in good health.

VO2 max scores have proved to be very accurate predictors of current and future health

Improving cardio fitness improves your overall health

But as your cardio fitness improves, your risk of chronic illness like hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, dementia - and even your risk of developing mental health disorders like anxiety and depression - drops dramatically.

What you need to know

Your VO2 max gives you a good sense of your fitness and aerobic endurance and according to an incredible amount of scientific evidence showing that your cardio fitness reflects your overall health. In fact, long-term, your cardio fitness is linked not only to how long you will live (life span) but also to how many healthy years of life you will have (health span).

Poor cardio fitness is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing and even dying from a serious medical condition. Cardio fitness is also an important health risk factor along with risk factors like smoking, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes.

As cardio fitness levels increase, our risk of conditions like hypertension (chronic high blood pressure) and dyslipidemia (abnormal levels of fat in the blood, including high cholesterol) drop. We also lower our risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and even our risk of developing mental health disorders (like anxiety and depression) and conditions as debilitating as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Your cardio fitness shows how well your respiratory and circulatory systems work to make sure your muscles have oxygen when you exercise. These systems work together to get oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart and out to the body (to your muscles), and to bring blood carrying carbon dioxide back to the lungs.

The amount of oxygen you are able to use when you're pushing yourself to your limits, shows not only how well your heart's pumping blood to your muscles but also how well your muscles are taking up oxygen to produce energy in the muscle cells - so that you can keep going... up to the point you can't sustain that level of effort anymore. That's the maximum amount of oxygen your body can take in while you're exercising. That is your VO2 max.

Your cardiorespiratory fitness is measured through VO2 max. The higher your VO2 max, the better your aerobic endurance. In other words, the better your ability to use oxygen for longer, when exercising


Before starting any exercise, please consult a with a healthcare professional to lower the risk of injuries. The guidance on this page is not a replacement for medical advice. Any activities you undertake based on this advice are entirely your choice and come with inherent risks. Discovery Vitality is not responsible for any injuries, damages, or health issues that may occur due to the information, products, or services obtained from this page, including workouts, training plans, or information.

Log in

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id