HEART RATE VARIABILITY TRAINING
Are you familiar with the concept of HRV or Heart Rate Variability training? If not, then it’s worth your time to get it’s know – how.
Let’s start with meditation. Meditation is the strongest practice, that I have ever came across, for increasing focus, developing self- control and training the mental toughness essential for navigating the ups and downs of making your own career path in life and being your own boss.
The issue with meditation is that most of the people take it seriously at first and then fail to establish a regular habit of continuing it. A great reason for this behavior is that people don’t get any direct biofeedback on how well they are performing. This is the point where the need of heart rate variability training is felt.
WHAT IS HRV?
HRV stands for heart rate variability. It is a physiological phenomenon. It is a variation in the duration between every two heartbeats. It is measured by the variation in the beat-to-beat interval.
In other words, heart rate variability is simply a measure of the variation in time interval between each heartbeat. This variation in the time interval is managed by a primary part of the nervous system known as the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
It functions regardless of our wants and adjusts, among other things, our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. The ANS is divided into two large portions, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system, also called the fight-or-flight mechanism.
Information or data is continuously processed in brain in a region called the hypothalamus. Through the ANS, the hypothalamus, sends signals to the whole body either to stimulate or to relax different functions.
It responds not only to a poor sleep, or that bitter communication with your colleagues or your boss, but also to the exciting events or news that you are selected for a job, or to that unexpected tasty healthy meal you had for dinner. All kinds of stimuli are managed by our body and thus life goes on. Anyhow, if you have constant instigators like stress, poor sleep, unhealthy diet, isolation, and lack of exercise, this balance may be disturbed, and your fight-or-flight response can switch into overdrive.
Many people leave meditation and exercising just because of the fact that they get demotivated. This demotivation is dependent on many factors but the crucial one is that people don’t get any direct biofeedback on their performance.
Biofeedback is a method which one can use to learn how to control one’s body’s functions like heart rate. In biofeedback, one is linked with electrical sensors that helps in receiving information (feedback or response) of one’s body (bio).
This feedback helps one in emphasizing on making fine changes in his/her body. Fine changes include relaxing specific muscles in order to accomplish the results one wants, like to lessen the muscle pain. In a nutshell, biofeedback empowers one to utilize one’s thoughts for controlling body, usually for improving health condition or physical productivity.
Through heart rate variability, one can really get a good understanding of the flexibility of the heart, which is a good predictor of a healthy and long life.
I’m a big nerd when it comes to self-quantified data so every single morning I religiously take one simple measurement of my HRV
For tracking HRV a variety of app and devices are may be used. Let’s take iHeart as an example. It actually measures your HRV and not only this, also it tells you about your “internal age” by calculating and measuring the stiffness of your aorta. The stiffness of aorta is used as an indicator of the health of the heart and it predicts the risk of sudden deaths from many reasons.
If you really want to track your heart rate variability, I would suggest going with HeartMath’s Inner Balance. There are too many other HRV trackers such as EliteHRV, HRV4training etc. but they are ideal for those who wears heart rate sensors.
What is a good Heart Rate Variability?
The average Heart Rate Variability score is approximately 59 for Elite HRV users. It tells you about the above or below average value or score, which is quite interesting for one to know but it doesn’t shows whether your score is good or bad.
A higher Heart Rate Variability score (a greater HRV) at rest is usually an indicator of a better health, a younger internal age or a biological age and a better aerobic fitness. Furthermore, everything from your mindset, to air quality, to age, and exercise patterns affects HRV (Heart Rate Variability).
Your personal circumstances, your starting point, and your objective. Comparing you to yourself over time is usually the most essential and effective way of accomplishing your goals.
How one builds up compared to one’s age and gender demographics?
If one’s HRV scores are below one’s age-gender demographic range, then he/she may have underlying health issues which are negatively affecting his/her internal or biological age and should be addressed at-once. Adversely, if one’s Heart Rate Variability scores are regularly higher than one’s comparable age-gender demographic range, Then his/her biological age might be younger than his/her chronological age.
It should be kept in mind that the elite HRV users’ base doesn’t indicate the general population. Representatives of Elite and recreational athletes have a higher Heart Rate Variability score. This may result in a little bit of data skewness. The average HRV score for Elite HRV users is 59.3 (on a 1-100 scale)
Normative Elite HRV Scores by Age and Gender
The Elite HRV population sample was further divided into age and gender groups. This division was based on user input data to enable users to compare themselves to others within their same demographic group.