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Check What Is Heart Rate Variability on Apple Watch
watchOS 8 has a number of notable health and fitness-oriented features, including heart rate variability. Whether you’re a health-conscious individual or a fitness fanatic, you should always keep an eye on your HRV to achieve your fitness goal. Now, if you are wondering what is heart rate variability on Apple Watch and how you can check it, then read on as we explain in this detailed article. With a standout new feature, we prefer to explain the basics and key points so you can better understand what you’re getting into.
Heart rate variability is considered a measure of the variation in time between heartbeats. Controlled by a primitive part of the nervous system called the ANS (autonomic nervous system), HRV works regardless of your desire and plays a major role in controlling things like breathing, blood pressure, digestion, and heart rate. The ANS consists of two main components, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
They are also known as the “fight or flight” mechanism and the “relaxation response,” respectively. The interval between heartbeats tends to be longer when you exhale and shorter when you inhale. People with comparatively high heart rate variability have better cardiovascular fitness and tend to be more resilient to stress. In short, HRV gives you a better insight into your lifestyle and therefore your fitness level.
What is heart rate variability on Apple Watch?
What is HVR?
Monitoring your BPM is useful for a number of reasons, including determining your baseline heart health and making sure you’re pushing yourself hard enough (but not too hard) during exercise. HRV (heart rate variability) is another heartbeat-based metric, but it doesn’t focus on the health of your heart: instead, HRV is designed to give you much more information about how an important component of your body , your nervous system, is working at any given time.
Why is HRV important?
While it may sound like a bad thing at first, a higher HRV is actually indicative of being healthier, happier, less stressed, and can mean you’re recovered and ready to exercise. HRV is considered by many health and fitness professionals to be one of the best metrics for knowing when your body needs to rest or is ready to function, as well as providing insight into the state of your autonomic nervous system. Along with HRV, Cardio Fitness, based on VO2 max, is a valuable metric to keep in mind that can be both indicative and predictive of overall health.
What is a good HRV number?
HRV is a highly individualized and constantly changing metric. It also depends on a variety of factors including physical and mental health/stress, diet, nutrition, alcohol consumption, sleep habits, age, gender, genetics, exercise frequency/intensity, and more .
HRV can also change a lot in a day, so don’t get hung up on tracking from hour to hour. With that in mind, it’s important not to use HRV by comparing yourself to others, but simply to look at your own HRV trends over time. If you have questions about your HRV numbers, ask your doctor.
How to use HRV with Apple Watch and iPhone
How to find your Apple Watch HRV data
For Apple Watch users over the age of 18, HRV is automatically registered with Apple Watch (in most countries). However, you have to go to the Health app on iPhone to see the data.
- Open the Health app on iPhone
- Tap the Browse tab in the bottom right corner
- Now choose Heart > Heart Rate Variability.
- At the top, you can change the view of HRV data by day, week, month, semester, and year.
How to force HRV registration with Apple Watch
You can get more accurate and potentially more useful data if you manually take an HRV reading with Apple Watch while it’s at rest and at the same time every day.
- In addition to automatic readings, you can force Apple Watch to record your HRV by opening the Mindfulness app and choosing Breathe
- Shortly after, you’ll see the new HRV data in the iPhone Health app.
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