Blood oxygen saturation levels evaluate the effectiveness and intensity of workouts, but may also imply fundamental health and disease hazards.
Blood oxygen saturation (shortened SpO2) is a metric of how much oxygen the blood contains. This can be monitored with Biostrap, but also with a clinical pulse oximeter. SpO2 is a percentage of how much oxygen is in your blood compared to the maximum it can hold. Typically, when red blood cells pass through the lungs, 95%-100 percent of them are packed or "saturated" with oxygen. Generally, more than 89% of your red blood should carry oxygen at any specified moment.
How Biostrap Works as a Pulse Oximeter
Red and infrared light beams from the Biostrap device pass through the bloodstream to measure the percentage of hemoglobin. Measuring this way is possible because hemoglobin is different in color with and without oxygen and absorbs different amounts of light depending on the level of oxygen. The difference between the quantity of absorption results in an precise rate of oxygen saturation.
Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels
The body lives off oxygen as a source of energy and keeps the body functioning normally. Most people need a minimum SpO2 level of 89% to maintain healthy cells. Anything lower can cause stress on the heart, lungs, and liver, and prevent the body from functioning properly.
Low SpO2 levels, also known as hypoxia, may be a sign of lung disease or sleep apnea. Low SpO2 levels may require additional oxygen to maintain healthy functioning and prevent long-term damage to the cells. Other possible causes of hypoxia include asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, heart problems, and anemia.
When exercising, the SpO2 level indicates how much oxygen the muscles reach during regular workouts. It is important to know the level of SpO2 just after the activity. High blood oxygen levels mean that the body will transport oxygen more quickly across the body, indicating efficient and intense workouts. Low blood oxygen levels mean that the body sends oxygen to the muscles at a much slower rate, resulting in fatigue and less effective workout.
Improving Blood Oxygen Levels
- Exercise. The body must work to keep SpO2 levels up during exercise, which may increase SpO2 levels over time when not exercising. One hour of aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, swimming or dancing at least three times a week, can already significantly improve SpO2 levels over time.
- Fresh Air. Increase the amount of oxygen that you breathe. Exercise outside often, open windows, and increase the number of live plants at home and office to improve fresh oxygen intake.
- Diet. Foods high in chlorophyll, such as raw fruits, green vegetables, seeds and nuts, add more oxygen to the blood and increase SpO2 levels over time.
- Deep Breathing. Practice deep breathing for a few minutes every day to correct oxygen deficiency. Fill your lungs to full capacity by expanding your chest and abdomen.
Biostrap can help you track this important biometric.* Understanding blood oxygen levels is not only helpful for those who exercise; it is also imperative for those who may suffer from low blood oxygen levels, such as those diagnosed with Sleep Apnea.
*Biostrap is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.