What is HRV?

Heart rate variability or HRV is the variance in time between the beats of your heart. For example, if your heart rate is 60 beats per minute, it’s not actually beating once every second. Within that minute there maybe 0.9 seconds between two beats and 1.15 seconds between two others. The greater this variability the better. 

Although HRV manifests as a function of your heart rate, it originates from your nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system, which controls the involuntary aspects of your physiology, has two branches, parasympathetic PNS (deactivating) and sympathetic SNS (activating). PNS often referred to as rest and digest handles involuntary body functions. SNS often called fight or flight reflects responses to things like stress and exercise and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. 

A high variable heart rate is a sign of health because it is a sign of the flexibility of the heart and of the capacity of the autonomic nervous system to adapt to changes in demands. HRV typically decreases with age, stress, fatigue, and illness. 

HRV is a highly individualized measurement that varies depending on numerous factors such as age, gender, genetics, and even time of day. The most practical use of HRV is to track trends over long periods of time. Diet, hydration, exercise, and sleep have all been shown to have an important role in HRV and overall health and wellness. 

What key metrics did we target?

Four key metrics were identified on the VScan HRV software. The metrics are Stress index, Metabolic energy resources, Biorhythm coherence/age, Functional state index: 

Stress Index

Also referred to as Tension Index indicates how hard the nervous system of the body has to work in order to achieve balance. The “normal” range is between 10-100 with lower being better. A balanced system showing an equal percentage of all three is ideal. 

Metabolic Energy

Is a measure of the energy reserves available to the autonomic nervous system. If reserves are low, the brain has to do more of the work which results in longer recovery times and less overall energy. The normal range is 150-600 with >200 being ideal. 

Biorhythm Coherence/Age

Is the total power of the spectral density of the frequencies that regulate brain function such as Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta. This gives us an indication of overall brain function and its ability to communicate with the heart. The normal range is 50- 100 with higher being better. 

Functional State Index

Indicates how well is the body able to compensate under stress using all its regulatory resources. Stress of all kinds contributes to all health-related issues. Peak performance is looking at 4 major regulatory systems and gives us a comprehensive score. The higher the score, the better the overall results.

Do you measure your HRV? Follow along as we explore the increased benefits of the BioCharger!

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