Heart rate variability (HRV) is one of the most significant physiological biomarkers that we are now able to monitor and measure. It gives us a non-invasive look at your autonomic nervous system, which consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When your heart beats like a metronome, meaning a lower HRV, it is correlated with increased sympathetic nervous system activity, or your “flight-or-fight” response. When your heart varies significantly from beat to beat, the parasympathetic nervous system activity, or your “rest-and-digest” response, is increased.
The autonomic nervous system controls over 90% of your biological processes, including regulating blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, body temperature, digestion, metabolism, the balance of water, electrolytes and many more. There is thousands of research studies that have shown HRV to be correlated to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, longevity in cancer survival rate, risk of developing metabolic syndrome, obesity, level of systemic inflammation, cognitive performance, and many others. We now have the ability to monitor on a daily basis so if you are serious about your health, you need to be measuring your HRV as knowing this, you can make the correct decision to live a long and healthy life.