Tracking HRV is a Game-Changer for Your Health!
Tracking your Heart Rate Variability may be the missing piece of the puzzle if you are looking for solid bio-feedback about how to train, eat, rest, and sleep. It shows how well your body handles all types of stress, from physical to emotional.
Your heart beat doesn’t beat like a ticking clock, there are subtle variations in the space between beats! That’s what Heart Rate Variability measures. If a person’s system is in more of a fight-or-flight mode, the variation between subsequent heartbeats is low. If one is in a more relaxed state, the variation between beats is high.
Your nervous system is constantly up and down-regulating your heart rate in response to stress. When your nervous system is functioning at a high level, variability is high– which represents a very responsive CNS (Central Nervous System). People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress. A low HRV is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease... even death.
Not ALL stress is created equal! Stress from a workout is positive stress because it is acute; the stress is over once the workout is over, and it stimulates muscle growth. On the other hand, stress from work can lead to chronic stress if left unchecked, which is horrible for your health and your nervous system over time.
The point is not to avoid drops in HRV completely but rather the point is to monitor your recovery afterward. Although a Whoop can’t help you avoid stress altogether, it can provide valuable insight to help you know when to better support your body (i.e. take a rest day or practice more self-care), thus helping it respond to stress in a healthier way.
I look at my HRV every morning to see how active I should be for the rest of the day. It’s changed the way I workout and helped me feel amazing because I focus more on recovery than ever before, which means my workouts are even better too! HRV also drops when I may have not eaten enough the day before, or I’ve eaten too much processed foods, so I know how to fuel my body for the day ahead, as well.
Bottom line: Information is knowledge! That is why I LOVE my Whoop Strap. The Whoop Strap is a fitness tracker that measures the quality of your sleep, how much strain is put on your body during exercise, and how well your body recovers from those workouts. To do so, Whoop relies on Heart Rate Variability (HRV), resting heart rate, and other subtle metrics.