If rest is essential, how and when should it be implemented? How can you understand that instead of training, you have to recover your body? One of the innovative and reliable techniques, on which we have focused in recent years, is the assessment of the Heart Rate Variability (HRV); a technique that uses the measurement of certain parameters of the heartbeat to provide information on the health status of the athlete, but not only. What’s this about?
It is a fact that the heart rate is not constant and that the time between beats is variable. The heart rate variability is exactly this: measure the time between two beats (RR Variability).
Looking at an ECG trace, it may appear that the distance between one R peak and the next is constant.
If we zoom in more details, we would find that reality is different: some intervals are shorter and others longer.
What influences this parameter?
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating and controlling the vital functions of our body such as heart and respiratory rate.
Stress is one of those external stimuli that affects out body.
The autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The last one is charge of maintaining the basic functions of our body. The sympathetic nervous system takes care of the stimulus/excitation functions.
Both act on the cardiovascular system and knowing the HRV allows us to understand which of the 2 systems is prevailing over the other.
HRV can be measured in just one minute. With SPH you can do it in 2 ways: using your phone’s camera or through the most advances heart rate monitors.
Phone camera was validated with a publication that compared the result with more complex and expensive system. Installing SPH on your smartphone, you can always have all the data under control and get semi-automatic information on how to manage your workouts more on that on http://buntin.org/.
- The training load increases and the HRV trend remains constant or even decreases: our body is reacting well and we do not risk over-training.
- The training load increases and the HRV trend grows or rises suddenly: our body does NOT react correctly to training. Stress and fatigue make our performance decline and makes us more prone to injury. You need to recover with lighter training or rest.
- I don’t train, but HRV is reduced: there could be external factors (stress, diet, various problems) that are negatively affecting our body. We must intervene to restore our well-being.
Have you practiced with this kind of trick before?
If you really want to learn how to use heart rate variability, then you can take advantage of the support of SPH’s technicians.
With SPH measuring HRV is easy…