What is HRV and How Can it Help Me?

What is HRV and How Can it Help Me?

HRV is a tool used for a lot of things in the world of health and human performance. Simply put, by human performance standards, it’s a measurement of the bodies overall health on a day to day basis.

Your body is constantly working to keep you alive. There’s a portion of the brain that functions to operate a lot of things in the body that are absolutely necessary but you just never have to think about. Things like, breathing patters, blood acidity, blood pressure, hormonal function, and more are in a state of constant ¬†adjustment for it’s environment.

The outside temperature, humidity, light, altitude… The brain adjusts these auto-regulated functions in your body to compensate for the difficulty they have on the bodies ability to operate at it’s best.

These auto-regulated functions  need to constantly balanced in order to stay alive. For example too high blood pressure can rupture blood vessels while too low blood pressure can make you faint from lack of oxygen.

All of this is happening behind the scenes, 100% of the time that you’re alive.

Redefining Stress

This is where HRV comes into play. The brains sole purpose is survival. Everything the brain does behind the scenes is intended to keep it that way.

When you experience stress, whether it’s emotional stress from the loss of a loved one, financial stress from losing a big account, or physical stress from an injury or workout–maybe even poor sleep, the brain needs you functioning the best you can so that you can stay alive.

So when you’re body experiences some sort of stress there’s a hormonal response. This hormonal response keeps you alive by allowing your body to function at higher level (think fight or flight-a dear jumps out in front of your car while you’re driving and you may have been droopy-eyed but now have cat like reflexes or when we stories about a mother lifting a car to save her child).

There’s a trade off, however, and the trade off is that these hormones do harm.

Heart Rate Variability

The brain will pull the reigns in on the variability of those auto-regulated functions so that it can focus more energy on repairing the physical damage done by the hormones as a result of the stressor.

HRV uses fancy math to tell us the effect stress is having on our heart and as a result we can use this information to appropriately develop workout programs that give us better results much faster.

Because, while under high loads of stress regardless of where the stress is coming from, we may not be able to always tell what’s happening-even with a finely tuned coaches eye.

So what the end result looks like is for more effective training which will lead to you reaching your goals faster without grinding yourself into the ground for the sake of working hard. #worksmarternotharder

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