The heart works continuously from embryonic development until the last seconds of our lives. Healthy heart is crucial for the quality of our lives and the possibility of various activities. It is located in the chest, a little to the left, it is a hollow organ made up of smooth muscles.
It has two chambers and two atria and during the day it pumps out about 5 liters of blood, which continues to flow through blood vessels. The heart also has three coronary arteries, which feed the heart and their preservation is also important for the general condition of the heart muscle.
The better a person is in shape, has an adequate weight, eats healthily, and genetics is an important factor, the easier it is for the heart to work. Regular control of blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol and sugar and timely treatment, greatly contribute to better heart health and longer and better life.
Pulse represents heart rate and it is a reflection of heart rate and its regularity or defect. It can be measured in several places on the body, on peripheral blood vessels or with a pressure measuring device. Pulse is an important indicator of the health of our heart.
The ideal number of beats is 60-80 beats per minute. Slowed heart rate is called bradycardia, and rapid tachycardia. The heart rate increases during activity, and a feature of a well-trained heart is to decrease the heart rate, even during strenuous work or training.
1. What is Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?
Heart rate and heart rate variability are not the same thing. While heart rate indicates the number of beats per minute, which should be between 60 and 80, ideally, Heart rate variability indicates the time between two beats. You can have an ideal number of beats per minute, for example 60, but that does not mean that your heart beats in rhythm every second.
These intervals may vary. The heart can have a heartbeat at 0.8 sec, and the next heartbeat can be heard at 1.14 sec. New, sophisticated technology allows measuring, detecting and studying these phenomena, within a regular pulse and dealing with potential pathologies.
2. Things that affect HRV
- year and a half
- metabolic processes in the body
- exercise training and their intensity
- a child
- chronic diseases
- general living condition
- submissiveness of anxiety
All these factors play an extremely important role in the health of our heart, and therefore in Heart rate variability. HRV is not an immutable category. Depending on the current situation, our mood, the state of our psyche, the degree of burden and much more, our heart is an indicator of exactly how we feel. It detects even the smallest changes in our body and is doomed to suffer and face many situations and our conditions, throughout life.
3. Influence of the nervous system on this phenomenon
The nervous system has a huge impact on HRV. Our parasympathetic nervous system receives impulses of various kinds from our internal organs. During this time, the sympathetic nervous system reacts to external impressions and stimuli, situations to which we are exposed and can affect the heart.
These actions of our nervous system are simultaneous and all this, together, directly affects the work of our heart, in all fields, including heart rate variability. In situations of danger, when the secretion of adrenaline is increased, of course, all this is reflected in our heart and its work.
Then HRV is subject to shorter intervals and more intense complete response of the organism. The same goes for situations of increased stress or excitement, which may not always be uncomfortable. Pleasant events also have an intense effect on the entire organism and provoke its responses.
4. Is HRV associated with arrhythmia?
HRV is a phenomenon in itself and is not associated with arrhythmia. Arrhythmia involves rapid, slow heartbeat or skipping, which can be both during exertion and at rest. HRV implies normal work, only variable, as the name suggests. HRV changes depending on what you do and how you feel. The pacemaker can regulate these intervals, if necessary.
5. How to measure HRV?
Variations in heart rate are very delicate and often difficult to grasp. Electrical impulses, which are conducted through the nervous system, are difficult to measure without special equipment and the presence of experts.
This is done with an electrocardiogram (ECG). There are apps like Welltory you can download right away at App Store which can also help you measure HRV.
6. When is HRV measured?
Given that HRV is measured in milliseconds, it is clear that it is not easy to obtain this data at home. It would be recommended that athletes (recreational and professional), then people around 40, and of course those who feel disturbed go for an examination at a medical institution.
This check, as well as a complete cardiological examination, can give a provisional prognosis, and prevent premature death and disability due to severe diseases of the cardiovascular system. These parameters should be measured in the morning, immediately after waking up and during daily activities, and sleep. During stress and load, HRV grows, but the ability of the heart to return to normal also speaks of its health.
No heart works absolutely correctly, like a clock, but its condition, then resilience (ability to recover quickly) can be defined by adequate examination and drugs or other available methods, treat it and improve its condition, and thus influence favorable prognoses in the future. .
The health and work of the heart is also affected by the health status of many other organs. Primarily the state of blood vessels, then the lungs, thyroid gland, nervous system, hormones, the nature of our psyche and our ability to adapt to life events and flows. In addition to timely and regular controls, the most important thing is to know and listen to your body.
No one can, better than you, know how you feel, at a certain time, at a certain time of day, in different weather conditions, variations of pressure and temperature… That is why it is necessary to take your health seriously, go for regular check-ups, choose a credible cardiologist. will follow you and be informed of your condition and its changes. It is a way to provide yourself with a long, healthy and peaceful life and make yourself active and happy in old age.