Heart Rate Variability
HRV is an important monitoring tool to assess sympathetic vs parasympathetic dominance. It is a useful tool to determine recovery and overall stress on the nervous system. HRV measures the intervals between heart beats. These intervals between heartbeats can vary, for instance, variation between two beats could be 0.9 seconds or 1.3 seconds and this variation between beats allows us to evaluate someone’s nervous system state and as a result their readiness to tolerate stress. HRV is also a valuable tool to determine if a program is overly taxing an individual’s nervous system. ‘Stress is stress’, when creating a plan for an individual all stresses must be accounted for. It is impossible to manage all life stressors, however, to monitor the stresses of a specific program (training, nutrition, environment, lifestyle, etc.) it is important to have a tool that takes all these into consideration. HRV allows a coach to monitor the progress of a program and help generate appropriate courses of action for future programming.