What is my cardio fitness score?


If your cardio fitness level is lower than you’d like, it may be due to several factors including a stationary lifestyle, which could have negative effects on long term health like an increased risk for developing high blood pressure and coronary heart disease (source).

The two ways to improve your score are exercise and healthy weight loss. Increased exercise may help you improve your score by up to 20 percent over a period of two to three months (see Kennedy, Phys. of Sport and Exer., 2012). Specifically, the American Heart Association recommends “at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity)” to improve overall cardiovascular health (source).

While an increase in moderate exercise can be helpful, including high-intensity intervals in your workouts if you’re able can be an effective way to see noticeable improvement. Interval training includes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity followed by periods of lower intensity activity or rest. Both endurance training and interval training studies showed increases in participants’ VO2 Max, but interval training yielded more significant improvements (source). For more information on how to use intervals in your workout, see How do I track my workouts with my Fitbit device?

Additionally, healthy weight loss (primarily by lowering your body fat percentage) can contribute to an increase in your cardio fitness score. On the other hand, unhealthy weight loss (lowering your muscle mass) can have a negative effect on your score (source). If you’ve entered a healthy weight loss goal into your Fitbit profile, the graph shows the potential improvement to your score. If your weight loss goal would lower your Body Mass Index (BMI) into the underweight range, potential improvement to your score won’t be displayed. For more information about BMI ranges, see the American Heart Association.


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