A simple, cost-effective method for determining aerobic fitness proposed

February 3, 2017

Ibai García-Tabar, who holds a degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, believes that the most effective, accurate and cost-effective way of determining the aerobic fitness of sportspeople and specific populations is to measure the blood lactate threshold.

Although this system is already being used by professional sportspeople and teams, it cannot always be extended to amateur sportspeople or patients with limited economic resources because it requires supervision by qualified professionals. That is why in his Ph.D. thesis, read at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA), the researcher has advanced three new tools for doing this in a more cost-effective, simple way. The first is a monitor to measure through the rate associated with 90 percent .

"This system is very practical because no health professionals are needed. We can monitor aerobic fitness without the help of a specialist," insisted Ibai García-Tabar.

The second tool is a that makes use of . In this case, monitoring by a trainer or fitness coach would be necessary, because this system involves a special mathematical process requiring more exhaustive control.

The last proposal is a single sample of blood lactate using a lactate analyser, a device similar to that used by diabetics to measure the concentration of glucose in the blood. "The process takes between five and 13 minutes, and the user can implement it during his/her daily routine. This proposal would enable training intensities to be continually readjusted and the evolution in aerobic fitness of a football player, for example, during his/her final rehabilitation phase following injury, to be monitored more closely. It would also help to evaluate the level of fatigue arising after a period of overload," he said.

Two systems for assessing aerobic fitness

Today, the two most widespread methodologies to determine aerobic fitness are electronic, automated gas analysers and measuring lactate concentration in the blood. The latter became important in the 1980s, particularly in the area of sports. Yet in the clinical area, the assessing of respiratory gases remains the predominant methodology.

According to García-Tabar, although electronic gas analysers to determine aerobic fitness and ongoing sports performance are widespread, they lead to considerable systematic error when the maximum consumption of oxygen is measured. "The solution involves verifying the results once the evaluation is over and checking whether they coincide with the initial calibration. This can only be done using semi-automatic gas analysers."

That is why the researcher is opting for the method that determines lactate thresholds; the reason is that as more variants are taken into consideration, it is more accurate and could be useful for more sectors of the population. "I would particularly recommend blood lactate assessment for seniors and patients, because as maximum oxygen consumption is not measured, the user does not have to be pushed to the limit, and that way, unnecessary risks are avoided."

García-Tabar is hoping that his proposals will result in a practical tool to bring research closer to the real world of sports, because, in his view, there is a great need for solutions.

Explore further: Routine checkup should assess fitness, too

Related Stories

Routine checkup should assess fitness, too

January 4, 2017
(HealthDay)—Most people know they should have their height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly, but an exercise expert says cardiorespiratory fitness should also be part of a routine medical exam.

Obesity more dangerous than lack of fitness, new study claims

December 20, 2015
A new study, published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, has dismissed the concept of 'fat but fit'. In contrast, the results from the new study suggest that the protective effects of high fitness against ...

Testosterone replacement may help older men improve and maintain aerobic capacity

June 23, 2014
Testosterone replacement therapy may help older men who have limited mobility and low testosterone improve their aerobic capacity and lessen its decline with age, new research finds. The results were presented in a poster ...

Is 12 minutes of exercise all that is needed to fight diabetes?

December 7, 2016
A University of Queensland researcher is trialling a 12-minute exercise plan that aims to fight type 2 diabetes in a flash.

New guidelines urge diabetics to move more

October 26, 2016
(HealthDay)—People with diabetes need to move more often than previously advised, new guidelines say.

Recommended for you

New insights into controversial diagnosis of adolescent chronic fatigue

October 23, 2017
Crucial new research could provide some clarity around the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents. The research by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute published ...

New prevention exercise programme to reduce rugby injuries

October 23, 2017
A new dynamic 20-minute exercise programme, performed by rugby players before training and pre-match, could dramatically reduce injuries in the sport according to a benchmark study published today (Sunday 22 October).

Our laws don't do enough to protect our health data

October 23, 2017
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data. By combing through extremely large datasets, analysts can reveal patterns in your behavior.

Do boys really have a testosterone spurt at age four?

October 23, 2017
The idea that four-year-old boys have a spurt of testosterone is often used to explain challenging behaviour at this age.

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.