Taking the guesswork out of recovery.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the inter-beat variability between successive heart contractions, measuring the activity of the autonomic nervous system. Variability in heart rate is a result of the adaptive processes of the body’s response to stimuli within the body.
HRV is a non-invasive, easily accessible biomarker of systematic health that can be monitored daily. By measuring HRV, smarter training decisions can be made objectively helping athletes to remain healthy and train optimally. Using this data one is able to collate all of the stress reactions into one number on a consistent daily basis, determining the current state of parasympathetic (rest and digest) or sympathetic (flight or fight) dominance.
There are two key reasons to use HRV:
Nutrition significantly impacts heart rate variability, systematic inflammation, immune system function, and autoimmune triggers. A wholefood plant-based diet is highly anti-inflammatory which combats systematic inflammation, thereby providing a more favourable HRV reading.
Training is the targeted application of stress designed to elicit particular biological adaptive responses necessary to improve physical performance, health and/or durability. Research has shown HRV to be the best objective measure of an individual's fitness level.
Training doesn't happen in isolation. As such, it is important to measure other stressors such as sleep quality, health, and muscle soreness, amongst others. Using HRV provides one with objective data about the big picture, allowing for a more in-depth understanding of the athlete. We can make better-informed decisions and it provides another mechanism for engaging the athlete in the process.
Many top-end watches and other devices now provide heart rate variability readings but they’re all assessed differently. Do you know how to interpret the data? Do you know the gold standard on how to take an accurate reading? Do you know what to actually do with the data?
Kaitiaki Endurance Sport's recommended platform is HRV4Training. Should an athlete want to gain an understanding of their own HRV readings and how to better utilise them, an online consultation can be arranged.