The studies on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) of late have taken a leap due to the fact that HRV has evolved as the most interesting & trustable marker for research studies related to resilience and behavioral flexibility. Although many think Heart Rate (HR) and HRV are one and the same they aren’t so. To be more precise, HRV is something like an advanced version of HR which is a more systematic, scientific and reliable method to know your strength to perform an act. The standard heart rate variability range is something anywhere from below 20 to over 200 milliseconds.
What Is Heart Rate Variability?
Heart rate variability is the measurement of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that is largely believed to be one of the finest objective metrics for physical strength and determine the body’s readiness to perform any action.
HRV is literally the difference in time between the beats of the heart. So, if the heart rate is 60 beats per minute, it is not in reality beating once per second. Within that said minute there could be 0.9 seconds between 2 beats, for instance, and 1.15 seconds between 2 other beats. The higher this difference is, the more “prepared” the body is to act at a higher level.
[Also Read: What causes irregular heart beat]
What Is Normal Heart Rate Variability?
A standard HRV for adults could range anywhere from less than 20 to greater than 200 milliseconds. The best method to know your normal HRV level is to sport a wearable unit that measures the HRV in a controlled set up such as sleep and creates a baseline within a few weeks.
Every person’s HRV is different so don’t compare with others and instead, measure up your HRV to your own average numbers. It is very much normal to notice every day and seasonal differences in your HRV.
Also, note that there are different factors that affect your ANS which affects your HRV
Heart Rate Variability Low
Generally, a low HRV (or less difference in the heartbeats) connotes that your body is under pressure for some reason which could be due to exercise, psychological proceedings or any other external and internal stressors.
Causes Of Low Heart Rate Variability
The causes of low heart rate variability as said above is due to many reasons and usually, it is due to the below situations;
- Psychological conditions
- External stressors
- Internal stressors
Generally, when in resting-state a low HRV is unfavorable however when the body is in the active state a low HRV is favorable.
Even low heart rate variability can also be due to stress as heart rate variability and stress are linked to each other. Often, heart rate variability decreases in stress no matter where it comes from and how it is.
Similar interlinks between HRV and stress anxiety and heart rate variability are also related. Studies have found that anxiety leads to reduced HRV.
How To Increase Heart Rate Variability?
There are many ways you can increase your heart rate variability such as;
- Aerobic exercises
- Breathing exercises or for that instance just heavy breathing
- Hot temperature therapy
- Cold temperature therapy
Heart Rate Variability High
Higher HRV (or superior differences between heartbeats) in general states that the body has a stronger capability to cope up with stress or is recovering strongly from previously built-up stress.
At rest, a high HRV is favorable and coming to an active state a high HRV is usually unfavorable.
Causes Of High Heart Rate Variability
A high HRV is known to be a sign of a healthy heart. Most of the studies have found that a higher HRV is associated with lowered morbidity and mortality and enhanced psychological well-being and good quality of life.
Often, the most common cause of high heart rate variability is due to the continuous low-grade stressors. These stressors in the short term lead to a higher HRV as the body is continuously making an effort to recover from the situation.
How To Maintain A Normal Range Of Heart Rate Variability?
Although genetic factors have a high say in this matter one can maintain a normal range of heart rate variability by maintaining proper health, sticking to a fitness regime, managing stress, and following recovery methods like meditation. As a thumb rule maintaining a stress-free life is the base rule for a normal range of HRV.
Although exact heart rate variability range is a tricky one to answer knowing it is good as you can be aware of your health condition by tracking HRV.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.