Posted on November 16, 2023
HRV Analysis is an important diagnostic process that helps to measure the variability between heartbeats. Naturally, we have different durations in-between heartbeats, and this process helps to figure out if your HRV is within a safe range. Overall, HRV analysis can tell you a great deal about your body, which is why many athletes and fitness professionals tend to obsess over it. But it is with good reason. If you’re here to find out just what HRV analysis entails, and more importantly, what it means for your heart health stay tuned as lift the lid on all things HRV.
Heart Rate Variability essentially measures the fluctuations in durations between heartbeats using special technology. This technology is normally ECG devices like Holter monitors or mobile cardiac telemetry tools.
Overall, it’s important to note that we all have a unique HRV, with this dependent on factors that vary from one person to another, including:
5.Underlying health conditions, and so on
In a nutshell, you’ll know you’re in good health if your HRV is high, and the opposite might be the case if it’s critically low.
Your HRV score will help you to make lifestyle changes that will inevitably lead you to better heart health. Think of it like your body’s way of telling you that something’s off so that you can take corrective action to ensure your well-being.
That being said, here are some ways that HRV analysis is critical for better heart health.
Naturally, our heart rates vary across different situations, with this duration often lasting for a few milliseconds. Your HRV, in combination with other metrics, can help your physician to be able to determine if you have an arrhythmia or if you’re at risk of developing one.
For instance, in cases where patients have high blood pressure, and their HRV is abnormally high, technicians may interpret this as a sign of excessive autonomic fluctuation and dysfunction. This is itself an autonomous risk indicator for Afib.
Additionally, a low HRV may also hint at the presence of other types of arrhythmia such as tachycardia, which occurs when your heart is beating so fast, usually 100 bpm or more. When your heart beats faster than normal, this, of course, means that there is a short interval between heartbeats. Hence, your ECG may show that your HRV is low.
Either way, the point is that HRV analysis can help your physician uncover problems or possible problems with your heart. With this information, you can make lifestyle adjustments or treatment decisions that will help to manage the arrhythmia and reduce its symptoms. Alternatively, the findings will help you to take action to reduce the risk of a heart problem if you don’t have it yet.
Why is measuring HRV important? Well, another reason is that it can give you a good understanding of your mental wellness, which is a very important aspect of good cardiovascular health.
Via HRV analysis, your physician may be able to pinpoint problems with your mental health such as:
4.Low emotional flexibility and so on
Chronic stress, for instance, can elevate your risk of heart issues because when you’re constantly stressed, your body releases the cortisol hormone. Studies have revealed that the long-term presence of cortisol can cause plaque deposits to accumulate in your blood vessels, thus eventually leading to heart trouble.
Thanks to HRV analysis, you can better understand your mental health. You can use this information to take steps towards improving your mental well-being, and by extension, your heart health as well.
Can lack of exercise lead to heart disease? Yes. Poor fitness levels can certainly elevate your risk of developing cardiovascular issues according to research by the CDC. In fact, the New York State Department of Health blames physical inactivity for 35% of all coronary heart disease deaths in America.
While signs of physical inactivity can be straightforward e.g. easily fatigued and shortness of breath, sometimes it’s not easy to gauge fitness levels without carrying out deeper diagnostics. And that’s where HRV analysis comes in handy.
So how does HRV measure fitness? Well, it’s important to think about how your heart normally functions. For instance, most people who are in good health will have a BPM between 60 and 100. But if you regularly work out, take the case of an active athlete, your heartbeat may drop up to 40 bpm. This is perfectly normal if your other biomarkers check out. It is, in fact, a sign that your heart operates efficiently and that your fitness levels are great.
Overall, this data will help you know where you are in terms of fitness. The findings will help you to know if you’re on the right track or if you need to increase your fitness efforts in terms of exercise or physical activity at large.
A critically low HRV score can be the wake-up call that you need to do better. Fortunately, a low HRV isn’t necessarily a death sentence, but it is a sign that you need to do more. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve your heart rate variability, and here are a few tips:
1.Ensure that you get enough sleep consistently
2.Drink less alcohol and more water
3.Prioritize a heart-healthy, balanced diet
4.Practice slow and deep breathing regularly (about 6 minutes every day)
We should also point out that your HRV score alone is not enough to make an accurate diagnosis of any condition, and that there can be different interpretations. It’s important to talk it over with your talk to understand your HRV better.
When it comes to your heart health, knowledge is power. Taking routine ECG tests, even when you feel perfectly fine, is key to covering all your bases and ensuring heart problems and general health issues never sneak up on you. From diabetes and hypertension to arrhythmias and mental health, HRV analysis will help you to understand your health better and live a heart-healthy life because of it. If you’d like to know your HRV score so that you can make healthier decisions about your life, you should get tested with Cardiac Rhythm today. Give us a call