Posted by: Martie | 2009/06/09

VO2 Max

Hi there
I experienced vertigo for 2 days after exercising on the treadmill.
Yesterday I went to the doctor who found that it was due to me exercising while not fully recovered from the flu.
He did an ECG and said that I must have an extremely high VO2 max and asked whether I am super fit? Well, in fact I am a sedentery 35 year old female with no muscle tone. I want to start exercising and bought a treadmill, but got this vertigo episode after my first exercise session EVER. He said I have huge potential as an athlete and I should take up some sport. He also commented that it is the most perfect ECG he has seen in ages. Why did he make the comment about the VO2 Max or is he just confused?
Kind regards

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Our expert says:
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Hi Martie

I'm curious about why the doctor thought that? You can't infer a maximum from a stress ECG and especially a normal ECG, so that's a bit of a stretch for him to suggest.

You can take great heart (pardon the pun) from the fact that your ECG was so normal as to be called perfect. That is good news, given your vertigo experience and the fact that you must have been concerned. It means there is no underlying condition that can prevent you from exercise, other than the fact that you trained while still suffering from flu.

Whether or not you have this great athletic potential, that's another question. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to predict athletic potential without actually observing someone at the limit of their performance. For example, a great rugby player or tennis champion is not spotted walking in the park. Similarly, it seems a stretch to say that you have a high VO2 max without actually measuring it. Then again, maybe he did a VO2 max test on you, I'm not sure what you did. But if it was just an ECG, then he's speculating.

However, he might be right, who knows? I guess once you're healthy, it's up to you to prove or disprove it! So I'd say go for it, take up the running and if you do have great potential, then you'll know it pretty soon!


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