A healthy heart isn’t like a metronome beating at a consistent interval! Your heart rate is controlled by the hypothalamus, a part of your brain. The hypothalamus, through the autonomic nervous system (ANS), sends signals to the rest of your body either to stimulate or to relax different bodily functions. To be specific, the ANS uses its sympathetic nervous system (stimulation) and parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation). For instance, when you exercise your hypothalamus uses the sympathetic nervous system to increase your heart rate.
Heart Rate Variability
What is HRV?
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is measure of the variation in time between your heart beats. HRV tells a story of how your sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are changing your heart rate in response to everyday life. By analyzing the time between your heart beats, we can detect your stress and energy level as well as gauge your body’s ability to recover from stress.
When you rest, your hypothalamus uses the parasympathetic nervous system to decrease your heart rate. Your hypothalamus uses these systems to respond to every moment of your life. To be healthy and ready for life’s ups and downs, you need both systems need to work well!