Photo Credit

When you are committed to becoming fitter and healthier you need to educate yourself on several things, for example, your diet, best ways to exercise, how to avoid injury and top tips for recovery. Not the first thing to come to mind, being aware of your blood oxygen levels during exercise is also extremely important.

During exercise, your blood oxygen level decides and controls how much oxygen your muscles receive. High blood oxygen levels mean that oxygen will be quickly moved around the body. It stands to reason therefore that a lower blood oxygen level will mean that oxygen is transported around the body at a slower rate. This is significant because when you have a lower blood oxygen level you’ll find that you tire/become fatigued easier and as a result won’t enjoy the most productive workout.

If you want to maximise your blood oxygen levels to optimise workouts you need to understand a little more about how this works.

Blood Oxygen Level Know-How
At sea level, a “normal” blood oxygen result would show levels ranging from between ninety-five to one hundred percent. There is some wiggle room here as everyone is different however this is what would be considered a normal baseline result for the majority of people.
A number of factors can affect blood oxygen levels, including exercise. When you workout your body needs to really knuckle down in order to keep oxygen levels up, taking oxygen from lungs and helping you through your workout by helping you breathe easier.

The Result of Low Blood Oxygen
If you have a naturally low blood oxygen level you may be dealing with something known as hypoxemia. If so you will need medical treatment to help you maintain healthier blood oxygen levels. Hypoxemia can be nasty, with sufferers dealing with shortness of breath at best and at worse and if untreated or not treated effectively this condition can be deadly. See your GP if you have any reason to suspect that you have low blood oxygen levels, for example, if you have periods of unexplained dizziness or feel lightheaded.

What You Can Do About Blood Oxygen Levels
Exercise can go a long way towards helping you improve your blood oxygen levels. As the human body has to work harder to keep oxygen levels up during physical activity, it is likely that if you are just starting out with exercise that you will soon find yourself out of breath, especially at the beginning of a new workout. By using exercise to keep pushing through the early breathlessness when you are just starting out you can help improve your overall blood oxygen levels, especially after regular workouts that really do make you work!


An interesting fact, one of the main reasons those just starting out or restarting after a break feel very sore after a workout might well be because at the time their blood oxygen levels are low during their sessions.

Be aware of your blood oxygen levels, record improvements, exercise regularly to improve your blood oxygen levels and if you find that you tend to have a lower blood oxygen level see your health team. This really is a case of a catch 22 at the beginning; you want a higher blood oxygen level but struggle with breathlessness when you start out as you are out of shape or out of practice. You won’t of course get through the breathlessness unless you keep exercise. Stick with it, breathe through your sessions and this will improve, as will your general overall wellbeing.