If I upload a picture of myself as a kid, nobody would believe it. I was fat; when I say fat, I mean that nobody could see my neck. My grandmother used to be worried and tell my mother that this is not normal. Everything was normal at four years of age, and I was reasonably thin, even underweight, for most of my teenage life.

I never thought of paying attention to my health because it didn’t matter to me in the top 10 things in life. I have been hospitalized three times due to overuse and abuse of computing. This is nothing to be proud of as I was young, dumb, and immature. I was programming some WordPress plugins for backup and migration. This has been twice in my teenage years and once in my third year of undergrad. The third time, I was in excruciating pain (third-year undergrad) that some part of me wanted to die. But I promised myself that I would respect the body more than anything if I came out of this alive.

We take our health for granted. We rarely pay attention till it’s too late. Today I try to exercise at least 20-25 minutes 6 days of the week. It is a simple workout; running, stepping machine, lifting weights, running. This year, I have built up my VO2 max at 44.7 (monthly avg), and I still have a long way to go.

Building endurance is not hard; maintaining it is.

Getting ripped and building endurance is two different things. One of my friends who is pretty ripped and hits the gym challenged me about endurance. Even after trying to convince him by words, he did not budge. So we ran a 1.5-mile race. No twist or turns; just running straight on a bicycle path in Hoboken on a summer Friday (Lanes are closed). He went out too fast, and I managed to keep a constant 7:50 mile pace to complete the race earlier than him. Could I run faster? Yes. But that was not the point to be proven. When you lift weights and get ripped, your heart rate or BPM increases, but only in bursts. Running keeps your heart rate elevated and builds endurance to take and endure a high-stress level on the human body. These kinds of exercises help you build fitness.

VO2 Max

V̇O₂ max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise; that is, the exercise of increasing intensity. The apple watch only gives you an estimate; you need to do it in a lab to get an accurate reading. The greater your VO₂ max, the more oxygen your body can consume, and the more effectively your body can use that oxygen to generate the maximum amount of ATP energy.

This means that your body can better handle aerobic fitness activities that require a lot of oxygen intake, like running, swimming, and other types of cardio. This also means that a high VO₂ max can be a good predictor of your athletic performance, especially if you’re a runner or a swimmer. 

Your VO₂ max amount can also act as a benchmark to track your progress as you improve your athletic abilities or if you’re trying to keep your VO₂ max at a certain level to maintain your performance.

vo2 max

There is still a long way to raise and maintain my fitness level. But it’s not easy maintaining work (career progression), personal time (health, food, hobbies, studies), and family time. Something or the other will be left out. I have always sacrificed my social life for the rest as I did not find it that important in the larger scheme of things. Again, everything is a matter of priority to everyone.

I want to dedicate this part of the category section to writing, educating, and constantly updating myself on the progress I’ve made. I do not want to backfill anything (maybe two months), but it’s still unclear as to what all I want to cover as there is a lot.