If You Have A Heart You Need To Read This
By John Blok
If you have a heart and it beats, this is important to you. If you’re an athlete in training mode or someone who lives a stressful life, this is also important to you. Now that all of you are included, please read on.
Your heart beats a certain amount of beats a minute and although it appears that each beat is spaced evenly, similar to a metronome ticking away, this isn’t the case. In fact it shouldn’t be the case, but at times it will be the case. If you got out of bed this morning feeling refreshed, recovered from workouts and no anxiety or stress, the time between each heart beat will vary like an exciting drum solo. On the other hand if you get out of bed tired, stressed, not recovered from the previous days or weeks workouts, your heart will beat with evenly space beats, pounding away with the excitement of listening to a steady water drip.
Here is a little bit of science. Your nervous system functions in two different ways. One is the “Parasympathetic Nervous System”, Sometimes called the rest and digest system, and the other is the “Sympathetic Nervous System”, often known as the flight or fight system. When you’re relaxed, recovered, and unstressed, you’re running on the “Parasympathetic Nervous System”, and when you’re over-training, anxious, stressed, you’re running on the “Sympathetic Nervous System”. When you’re operating in the “Parasympathetic Nervous System”, you have a variable heart rate with varying length of time between beats. This is good, healthy and indicating good recovery between workouts. When you’re operating on the “Sympathetic Nervous System”, you’re likely not recovered from workouts, living in a stressful state and probably not sleeping well.
So much for science and here’s where it gets really interesting. With a high quality Bluetooth heart rate strap and your very smart phone, you can see where you exist between these two nervous system functions. Are you training too much or should you take another day of rest or maybe your job is creating extra stress and you’re wondering why you’re anxious. The app for your phone along with an accurate heart rate strap can read the variations in time between your heartbeats. It rates between 1 and 10. A rating of six or below and you may be overtraining and a rating of seven and above will give you a green light to train. Seven may be a light day and a rating of ten means that your fully recovered and you can go all out. If you’re always in the ten rating, this may show that you’re not training hard enough because some workouts should require a couple of days of recovery to get back to the ten rating.
The free App “Elite HRV” is available for Android and Iphone platforms. If you would like to test the App before investing in a Bluetooth Heart Rate strap you can see John at the Core. The Core has Polar H7 Bluetooth straps you can test or purchase.