The New Watch Gizmo Metric - HRV. What Is It & Why Should You Care?
Apple Watch. Whoop. Garmin. FitBit. Polar. Suunto.
All the big watch / wearable companies now track HRV. So what is it exactly, and why should you care about it?
HRV = Heart Rate Variability
Explained in the least amount of science possible, HRV is the time BETWEEN your heart beats. Yes, its that small of a time. That is why this is a "new" measurement, as it takes new technology to be able to detect and monitor.
Boiled down in the simplest way, the HIGHER your HRV, the healthier you are.
Why should you care?
The vast majority of us at ResoluteFIT are in it for our health. We desire and take action to improve our health in a number of ways. We workout. We improve our nutrition. We try to get quality sleep. All of these things are great. But they are hard to track, from a big picture perspective, especially over the long term.
In essence, HRV takes all of those things into account, and gives you one simple number. If your HRV average in 2019 was 62, and in 2020 it was 87, your HRV improved, and theoretically, you are healthier.
Every company and software will have different ways to show you the data, but the above is a picture from Whoop. It is part of the "Year in Review". As you can see my HRV in Jan 2019 was 71. My HRV in Aug peaked at 143. Then I ended the year at 119.
There are of course rabbit holes to go down with the science, but I'll leave that for another blog.
To close, here is a great quote from Harvard:
"Over the past few decades, research has shown a relationship between low HRV and worsening depression or anxiety. A low HRV is even associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease.
People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress. HRV may also provide personal feedback about your lifestyle and help motivate those who are considering taking steps toward a healthier life. It is fascinating to see how HRV changes as you incorporate more mindfulness, meditation, sleep, and especially physical activity into your life."
If you are curious about the Whoop, as that is my device of choice, you can learn more at the blogs below. We also have a ResoluteFIT Team on the Whoop app!