A good average HRV for adults is between 60-69, mine was much lower than that. It was time for introspection again. So, what is the HRV and how does it help us? What if it is low?
"HRV is simply the variation between each heartbeat!"
This is controlled by a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates, among other things, our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and digestion. It is subdivided into two large systems, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight-or-flight mode and the 'tend and befriend/ rest and digest' mode.
Through the ANS the brain sends signals to the body to either react or to relax. Many factors can influence this such as lack of sleep, the food we eat, our relationships, exercise, isolation and just things going on in our lives that we struggle with on a daily basis. If these factors have persistence in our lives, our fight-and-flight mode can go into overdrive.
This is where HRV comes into play. It is an interesting and non-invasive way to identify if your ANS is out of balance. If our bodies are more in a fight-or-flight mode, the variation between heartbeats is low. If, however, it is more in a relaxed state, the variation between beats is high.
The healthier the ANS the faster you are able to switch gears, showing more resilience and flexibility, meaning the higher the HRV the more resilience there is in the nervous system!
According to a Harvard study, research has shown a relationship between low HRV and worsening depression or anxiety. A low HRV is even associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and, in extreme cases, death.
People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress. According to the study, it is fascinating to see how HRV changes as you incorporate more mindfulness, meditation, sleep, and especially physical activity into your life.
"Yoga is known to incorporate many of those aspects!"
So, this brings me back to myself, in case you were wondering why mine is so low, despite the fact that I practice yoga regularly, walk and run and follow a healthy eating plan. Well, I do think there are a number of personal reasons for this.
I remain grateful for my yoga that is helping me cope and deal with my life as best I can at the present time. I am also very grateful for the fact that my watch highlighted this issue to me and it also explains why I am at times feeling low and unable to shake it off.
As the saying goes, time heals all wounds. It is nearly four years since my husband passed away and a year since my mom died. Life continues. They live in my heart and I honour their memories and what they brought into my life.
"There is hope though!"
Yoga always helps to create a great awareness of how you feel and what is happening in your body. That awareness is a great window to help you look inside and start making little changes to help you build the resilience to continue.
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about how yoga can help you build up your resilience, click here to get in touch or give me a call on 07768 314962 and let's see how I can help you.
Anne Marie completed an 18-month yoga teacher training through Yoga Campus in London in February 2020 to share the magical benefits of yoga with others.
She also recently completed a PTSD and Yoga4Health certifications through The Minded Institute to help people dealing with trauma and those who want to start a healthier lifestyle through yoga.
Helping business owners to create a supportive working environment that will have a positive impact on their business. The benefits, that flow from the holistic and systemic approach from yoga, will have a rippling effect on the health of all employees, their families, their communities and all stakeholders from the bottom up and equally from the top down.
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