What Is HRV and Why It Is Important!
What Is HRV, Again
Heart rate variability is the beat to beat changes. The varying times between each beat are significant indicators of some health problems. A highly varied HRV is an indicator of overall good health. Those that have a highly diverse HRV are likely to be the ones who rarely get sick, or are the coolest under pressure. The ones that do not get upset too quickly and stay rather calm in extreme circumstances.
HRV and age are entirely related. Those who are young will have a high HRV and as you age ti will lower. However, if you have a high HRV for your age group, you are looking at a person who is younger than their chronological age says.
As I have stated in other articles, heart rate variability is a great and easy way to get a little snapshot of where you are in your training cycle. How your body is responding to training and how your body is recovering from that training. We will talk a little about when an athlete should go and when they should slow moving forward in this article.
Nervous System Activation
When you measure your heart rate variability, you measure your nervous systems function. HRV is checking the purpose of the autonomic nervous system. The Autonomic nervous system (ANS) is made up of two branches. The sympathetic and the Parasympathetic nervous systems. Each is the sides of the same coin. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is responsible for all of the activity that increases your HR. It is the side of the ANS that is responsible for the fight or flight. The Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is responsible for the opposite of that. It is commonly referred to the rest and digest side of the ANS.
The problem arises when either side of the ANS is too active. If the SNS is continually going, you are going to find that you are always stressed out. You have a hard time sleeping. Your performance eventually starts to go downhill. You will be appreciated for no reason. You will just feel like you are always worrying about things, and your mental game will start to deplete. If your PNS is too active you re looking are a person who is sleeping all the time. The performance will not be anywhere near the ability it should be, and they will have a slightly lax attitude toward much of anything.
Know When To Go
Figuring out how to use HRV is tough. However, knowing when to go is essential to continued progress as well as staving off possible injury or illness. Fortunately, there are apps now that give you an easy to read display of your HRV data. Elite HRV is what I use. Just because it is easy to use, easy to understand, and it allows you to input more data than most applications.
Once you have an application that you are happy with getting the most out of it is going to in the key to progress. As stated earlier the HRV of an athlete is highly personal, and it will very much be connected to the age of the athlete. Once you have your baseline of HRV that is going to determine whether you re in good shape to go hard to if you need to slow down a bit.
Navigating Your Baseline
Your baseline has been set every morning you’re going to sit down and get your HRV measurement. Once you re-completed that you will get a value. You will see where you stand with your baseline. If you are slightly below or above your baseline, you are good to go. Get your work in.
When your baseline has been set every morning you re going to sit down and get your HRV measurement. Once you re-completed that you will get a value. You will see where you stand with your baseline. If you are slightly below or above your baseline, you are good to go. Get your work in.
There are instances when it is good to go when you re far off your baseline, in the sympathetic direction. If you are retraining in a sport that required a high level of strength. Having your body ready to produce in that area is a good thing. You have to know your body. Using HRV alongside an athlete who has great self-awareness is critical.
Know When To Slow
What is more important than knowing when to go is knowing when to slow. It is difficult for many athletes to bump the breaks. When we are continually training and running on crazy amounts of passion, it is hard to allow yourself to change up your training. Many athletes get a program from their coaches and follow it to the letter. Every single day. The missing part of that style of training is the fact that the athlete is not going to feel 100 percent every single day. It is impossible always to feel good. Athletes will have days that just are not up to snuff.
Using Heart rate variability is going t give both the athlete and the real-time coach date. Real information. If you are showing signs of overtraining, you will catch it with the HRV measurement. If you get a measurement that is either far below or far above your baseline you can be confident that you are not in a good state to train hard. Training hard when your HRV is either too high or too low is asking for a possible injury. Many athletes will train hard when they are not feeling great. We are looking to increase athletic performance not increase the likelihood of injury.
KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.