Heart rate variability (HRV) is NOT heart rate. Heart rate is just your average number of heartbeats, while HRV is the time differences BETWEEN each heartbeat.
HRV is an advanced metric that has helped many to:
- Improve training and recovery
- Get fitter, faster and stronger
- Get healthier and address chronic disease
- Manage stress
- And much more!
Key to the power of HRV is its connection to your nervous system, which controls and responds to many important body processes, like:
- Vision, hearing and smell
- Sexual function
This connection requires tracking small changes (milliseconds) in the intervals between successive heartbeats (Fig 1), also called “RR intervals”. This is different from heart rate, which just averages the number of beats per minute.
Fig 1: Heart rate variability