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Heart Rate Variability: What It Tells Us About Stress & Recovery with David M. Ferris, Jr., MD, MPH

Heart Rate Variability: What It Tells Us About Stress & Recovery

Are you ready to learn more about heart rate variability? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

Watch the video to learn more about heart rate variability:

While heart rate refers to the number of times your heart beats per minute, heart rate variability (HRV) measures the variation in time between each heartbeat. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) provides a window into the functioning of your autonomic nervous system, which is a window into your patterns of stress and recovery. If you’re ready to better understand your stress patterns and whether you are getting sufficient recovery during sleep and waking hours, you don’t want to miss this webinar!

Do you want to learn about your stress patterns?

Stress is a normal part of life. But when it becomes chronic, it can have serious health consequences. In this group visit, I’ll show you how Firstbeat HRV technology can help you better understand these stress and recovery patterns, so you can take simple actions to improve the quality of your life.

Heart rate variability (HRV) is a fascinating topic that has gained significant attention over the past decade. In this article, we will delve into what HRV is, why it is important, and how it can provide valuable insights into our stress and recovery patterns. So let’s jump right in!

Understanding Heart Rate and Heartbeat Intervals

First, let’s start with some terminology. When we talk about heart rate, we are referring to the number of pulses counted within a minute. This is the heartbeat frequency measured in beats per minute. On the other hand, heartbeat intervals are the time between consecutive heartbeats. By measuring the distance between successive spikes on an electrocardiogram (ECG), known as the R to R interval, we can determine the variability in the time between each heartbeat. This variability is what we refer to as heart rate variability.

Heart rate variability gives us a window into the body, specifically the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates the heart’s response to changes in its environment and plays a crucial role in managing stress and promoting recovery. Heart rate variability reflects the interplay between the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the fight-or-flight response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (involved in relaxation and rest).

Unveiling the Link Between Heart Rate Variability and Health

While it may seem logical to assume that lower heart rate variability indicates better health, the opposite is true. Scientific research has consistently shown that higher heart rate variability is associated with better health outcomes. A higher HRV indicates greater flexibility and adaptability of the body, allowing it to respond effectively to both external and internal factors. Age, physical fitness level, overall health status, and the stressors we face all influence our heart rate variability.

Firstbeat: Technology and Tools for Heart Rate Variability Assessment

To measure heart rate variability and gain insights into stress and recovery patterns, a Finnish company called Firstbeat has developed advanced technology and tools. This technology is widely used by professional sports teams, universities, and consumer products like wrist-worn heart rate monitors. Firstbeat’s technology utilizes a monitoring device called the Bodyguard 2, which collects heart rate variability data over a period of 72 hours.

The data collected by the Bodyguard 2 provides valuable information about an individual’s stress and recovery balance. By analyzing the patterns of stress reactions and recovery moments, we can gain a deeper understanding of an individual’s wellness. The assessment also includes measures of physical activity and sleep quality, both of which play a significant role in overall well-being.

Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment: Measuring Stress, Recovery, and Fitness

The Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment generates a comprehensive report that offers actionable insights based on an individual’s data. The report includes stress and recovery graphs, sleep analysis, physical activity metrics, and an estimate of one’s fitness level (VO2 max). By examining the stress and recovery balance, sleep quality, and physical activity levels, individuals can make informed decisions to optimize their well-being.

Leveraging Heart Rate Variability for Improved Wellness and Performance

Understanding heart rate variability and utilizing technologies like Firstbeat’s assessment can help us manage stress more effectively and improve our recovery. By increasing heart rate variability, we can enhance our overall health and wellness, reduce morbidity and mortality, and improve our quality of life.


In conclusion, heart rate variability is a powerful tool that provides insights into our stress and recovery patterns. By monitoring HRV and utilizing advanced technologies, we can make informed decisions to optimize our well-being. As we navigate a stressful world, managing stress and prioritizing recovery becomes increasingly important. Increasing heart rate variability through various techniques can lead to improved health outcomes and a better quality of life. So take a moment to reflect on your own stress and recovery patterns and consider exploring heart rate variability monitoring to enhance your overall wellness.

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

well good evening i’m dr david ferris with maxwell clinic and this is one of a series of group
visit presentations presented by maxwell clinic clinicians on a variety
of topics that we think are important for our patients to
to know about and we hope that you will find valuable to maximizing
your overall health and well-being this evening i want to talk about a
topic that’s really important to me and that i developed a special interest in about 10
years ago and that is heart rate variability and what it tells us about stress and
recovery so i’m going to take take us through a presentation to to talk about this
topic and then that probably will take about 25 to 30 minutes
max and then we’ll have time to respond to any questions that you might
have and you can submit your questions through the q a function simply enter your
question and then when i complete the presentation i’ll go to those questions
and answer as many as we have time to to answer so with that
introduction let’s jump in
first let’s start with a little terminology um i think everyone understands what
we’re talking about when we talk about heart rate uh when when someone takes your pulse
they count the number of pulse pulses within a minute and
whatever that is that is the heart rate it’s the heartbeat frequency in terms of beats per minute
heartbeat intervals are the time between consecutive
heartbeats if you’ve seen an ekg and you see a small segment of an ekg on the left in
the diagram you see a big spike that’s the r complex
of what we call the qrs complex of an ekg
and if we measure the distance between uh successive spikes we can measure that
in in milliseconds and that’s called the heartbeat r to r interval and then finally
what we’re going to be talking about this evening is heart rate variability
and this is the beat to beat variation in the time between those consecutive r
to r intervals so look at let’s look at that concept
in a little bit more detail what you see here is an ekg
a few beats and you’ll see the the numbers at the top what that
reflects is the number of milliseconds between each successive uh
r complex of the qrs complex so we get a qrs complex for each
heartbeat and then if we measure that distance between successive beats you’ll see that they
vary they’re not all the same even though when we’re taking someone’s pulse
we can’t discern these minute differences the reality is that that length of time
that interval between successive beeps is constantly changing
so you see in this tracing it goes from 828 milliseconds
to 845 and then down to 754 and then down to 742
and this is what we call the the heartbeat variability it’s that
variability between beats and so you might ask well
why should i care about that what’s the significance of that well that’s what we’re going to delve
into in the next few minutes to explain why this is important and
what valuable information it can lead to to give us a much better idea of what are what do our
individual patterns of stress and recovery look like
so what heart rate variability does is it gives us a window into the body
specifically it gives us a window into the autonomic nervous system and i’m going to talk more about the
autonomic nervous system in in just a minute in the next slide
but suffice it to say that the heart is constantly reacting to changes in its
environment to stressful factors to
stressful situations to the need to run or to move quickly
and it does all of this through the part of the nervous system called the autonomic
nervous system so we’ve already talked about how heart rate variability means this
variation in time between consecutive heartbeats but there’s a lot of information that we gather
from that from that variation heart rate variability is closely
regulated by the body we know at rest and during periods of
relaxation that heart rate variability increases whereas during
many types of stress hrv decreases and it’s it’s kind of
uh it would seem logical to think well the less variation you have the better
but actually we know from a large body of science that uh the greater the heart rate
variability the healthier the individual is so it’s actually to be
desired and if you think about it the body the heart rate’s ability to respond to multiple external and
internal factors to adjust that heart rate moment by moment
shows a lot of flexibility within the body and so the the more heart rate variability
increases the more flexibility the greater health that the body has
there are many factors that affect heart rate variability some of those are age we know that heart
rate variability naturally decreases as we get older but our physical fitness level our
health status and the stressors that we are exposed to are all important factors
that help govern just what our heart rate variability is and as i said a minute ago
in general high heart rate variability is considered a sign of a healthy heart and a healthy body
whereas low values can indicate internal or external stress or a weak recovery
so i’ve mentioned the autonomic nervous system if if we look at the nervous system as a
whole we have what we call the central nervous system which is comprised of the brain and the
spinal cord and then we have the peripheral nervous system which is everything else
all the nerves that come from the brain that come from our spinal cords that go throughout
the body that regulate um and and provide sensory input
for all the different functions of the body of that of that violent of that
peripheral nervous system there are two parts there’s the voluntary
nervous system component and the involuntary or autonomic nervous system the
voluntary part of the nervous system is what controls specific movements we
make voluntary actions that we take we want to write we want to sing we want to speak those
are all voluntary functions and are controlled by the voluntary nervous system but a huge
part of our nervous systems is the involuntary or autonomic nervous
system you can think autonomic is somewhat it’s automatic these are the many functions of our
bodies including our heart rate our breathing our ability to digest food
all the many things that we don’t have to think about that just happen automatically because our autonomic
nervous systems are monitoring these aspects of our our functioning
and and controlling them so all that to say what we want to focus on is the
autonomic nervous system and it has two divisions the sympathetic
nervous system branch and the parasympathetic nervous system branch
think of the sympathetic nervous system is fight or flight this is a stressful uh
this is a stressful mode and so we have to have sympathetic activation or we wouldn’t
get anything done but we also need parasympathetic activation this is involved with
relaxation of helping the body to rest and recover so it’s critically important
and normally throughout the day there is an interplay moment by moment
between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system but typically during our waking hours
the sympathetic nervous system is going to dominate and that hopefully
if we’re getting good restful sleep which is critically important for health
during the night when our bodies recover uh it’s parasympathetic nervous system
that we are concerned about and we want to see activated we also would like to
ideally see at least some brief periods of parasympathetic nervous system
activation during the day because that gives us gives our bodies gives our systems
momentary respite from the stresses of the day and that can be accomplished in a number
of ways of which i’ll i’ll touch on later but which i plan to cover
in my my next scheduled group visit which will be a follow-up to
this one in september so with that said i want to play a brief
one-minute video that was put together by first speed i’m going to talk more about first beat in just a moment
but firstbeat is the finished company that provides the technology and all of the research
behind it that allows us to use heart rate variability to look at our patterns of stress and
recovery so let’s watch this short video and i think hopefully this will summarize a lot of the things
that i’ve said over the last few minutes and perhaps make things more clear for you
stress is your body’s natural response to the challenges of life physical factors like extreme temperatures and illness trigger stress
as do situational factors like work demands and social pressure stress can be observed via your
autonomic nervous system which regulates functions like heart rate and digestion it’s comprised of two parts that serve
the same organs but produce opposite results together they work like the gas and brake pedals of your body
the sympathetic nervous system is the gas pedal it excites your body and prepares you for action
also known as fight or flight response this elevated state is what we mean by stress responsible for resting and digesting
your parasympathetic nervous system in turn is the brake pedal it calms your body and replenishes your
reserves both systems are constantly operating but one is more active than the other ultimately it’s the balance that counts
b2b changes in your heart rate open a window into your autonomic nervous system this allows first beat to
identify states of stress and recovery as they occur
there we go so um hopefully that uh that brief video characterized some
things summarize them for you but but i think the analogy that the video uses of thinking of the
sympathetic nervous system sympathetic activation as the gas pedal
and the parasympathetic system is the very pad um
brake pedal is uh is a useful analogy so let me talk now about first beat the
company uh that i alluded to a moment ago um i first was introduced to first beat
about 10 years ago i was really intrigued by their deep knowledge of the science of heart
rate variability and how they have developed technology and tools to help us understand
patterns of stress and recovery in order to maximize our individual wellness
as well as how they apply this in the whole area of sports performance that’s a separate
topic we won’t address today but firstbeat is really the leader in this technology that assists
a lot of professional european and north american teams in in a number of sports
but firstbeat was established in 2002 as a spinoff of a research institute
at the university of yerviska in northern finland they they were studying
athletic performance and really looking at the the research and adding to the
research uh underlying heart rate variability and so they developed their technology based on
some 20 years of research and experiencing an experience and applying the science
of heart rate variability what they did looking at all the data and being able to measure
heart rate variability was to see that heart rate variability
was a non-invasive marker that really gives us a window into how
the autonomic nervous system and its two components sympathy sympathetic nervous system
and parasympathetic nerve nervous system interplay and and perform and then able to turn
that data into real usable data that i’m going to show you examples of in just a minute i’ve already mentioned
that this technology that first speed has developed is utilized by a large number of
european and north american professional sports teams but also a lot of d1 uh
sports programs at major um universities in the in the us as well as
the um really the analytic engine that powers a number of consumer
products start such as uh wrist worn heart rate monitors so if you have a
garmin or assunto or a sony heart rate monitor that you
wear when you exercise those analytics contained in that
are from firstbeat all right now i want to show you a
second video it’s a couple of minutes longer but this will just give you i think a
good overview of the first beat technology and specifically
the process of how we uh collect heart rate variability data
using a small device called a bodyguard 2 which an individual wears for 72 hours
in order to collect data on heart rate variability as well as some other data so let’s play this and uh and then i’ll
show you how all of this is applied
firstbeat helps you recognize the factors that affect your well-being during work leisure and sleep
the multi-day round-the-clock heart rate variability measurement is easy to conduct in everyday life
it helps you identify factors that cause stress or consume your resources revealing the
link between your lifestyle and well-being the scientifically proven method guides you personally
to manage stress and feel better see whether your days include any moments of
recovery and recognize the situations that help charge your batteries
first beat shows whether your day includes enough physical activity and how it affects your body good
quality sleep is a requirement for health first beat shows if you’re able to recover and replenish your body’s
resources during sleep get a personal comprehensive report and concrete action
points that help you improve your well-being in line with your individual goals
the objective feedback helps you improve your daily performance reach your goals and simply feel better
by choosing actions that will have a positive impact on your work and life
at the beginning of the measurement period you’ll receive an email with a link and instructions for filling in
your background information and measurement journal write down some daily events to be able to compare your
actions and the data choose a measurement period that fits you best
usually this includes two working days and one day off
start the measurement in the morning after you wake up as mentioned in the instructions
snap the electrodes onto the measurement device remove the protective cover and attach
them to clean dry skin ensure that the green lead
is flashing detach the device when showering or swimming
the measurement continues automatically when you reattach the device replace the electrodes with new ones at
least once a day for example after showering or if an electrode falls off
end the measurement when you wake up after the last night of the measurement period measurement ends automatically when you
detach the device you’ll receive an individual report
feedback and action points from a wellness specialist to improve your well-being and
performance welcome to firstbeat lifestyle assessment
so i hope that gabe gave you a a good sense of
the size of the monitoring device and how it’s used to collect the data
we at maxwell clinic introduced this technology two years ago we’ve done quite a number
of of these assessments and i anticipate we will be doing more in the future because we find the
information uh so helpful um so enlightening for for patients that have
have done it so basically um what the first speed
lifestyle assessment does is it allows us to measure stress to see
patterns of stress and recovery and that allows us to better manage stress and enhance
recovery and it also gives us valuable information on exercise during the course of the
three-day assessment period what you see on the right of the screen
in this slide is one page of the full first beat lifestyle
assessment report there is a page that looks like this
for each of the three days that we typically collect data so what i want to do
next is is talk about the components and the information that we gain
uh from that report so what you see here is the first speech
stress and recovery graph for a roughly 24 hour period of time
and this is coated color-coded red are periods of stress
green are periods of recovery that is when we have parasympathetic activation
and blue if it’s light blue it indicates light physical activity
uh you can see a couple of very brief times of
of light physical activity uh in the late morning early afternoon in
this example you see around seven o’clock in the evening uh some dark blue looks like probably
for 45 minutes or so that was moderate to vigorous physical
activity that’s what that indicates and you can see above it it indicates that
the training effect the the vigor of the activity the the heart rate increase was
sufficient to improve the fitness of that individual
first speed utilizes a scale of of one to five uh with five meaning really overreaching
uh and 3.8 is a range where you get definitely getting a training effect
so it provides us with additional information there as well
one thing to note uh that’s really important is you’ll see the little moon uh over
towards the uh the right of this graph uh starting at about uh 23
30 or 11 30 p.m and and you’re asked each day that you’re
doing the the first speed assessment to indicate uh when you went to sleep
and when you woke up and what you see here is in this particular example
this individual they went to sleep around probably about 11 30 uh p.m
but whereas what you would like to see is solid green very quickly throughout the night with
no red that would be an optimal pattern because it means you’re in parasympathetic
activation and you’re getting good recovery frequently what we see though
particularly in individuals who are under a lot of stress or for other reasons is that they don’t
immediately go into that parasympathetic activation they may be asleep but they’re not
getting the recovery they need because they’re still in a state of sympathetic activation so that’s what
you see when you see in those early hours up until about 1 30
1 45 you’re seeing mostly red there uh and then you start getting a lot more
green you start getting a lot more parasympathetic activation and so that’s the sign that you’re
getting the recovery that you need but i think you can see as you look at
this graph for each of the three days of the monitoring period
it gives a lot of insight into what are your patterns of recovery and and stress
ideally what we would like to see during the the work day and you see that indicated
by the little briefcase and it says 8 hours and 30 minutes this you you you indicate on the
uh the on the online digital calendar that you’re prompted to fill out every
day and you can put in as much detail as you like it just helps correlating what’s going on
in the in the report with what your actual physical activities were or restful activities
during the course of that 24-hour period of time what we would like to see would be some
brief periods maybe three to five minutes throughout the day two or three times
of some green and perhaps that might be a time when someone was saying you know
i just need to calm down it’s been a crazy day and some time to close one’s eyes
perhaps practice some deep breathing which is a great tool for activating
parasympathetic nervous system activation and throwing you into the green from the
red ideally that’s what we would like to see we didn’t see that in this individual which is pretty
typical the other things the information that we
see in each day’s report are some metrics that um first be calculated so the first
box you see here on the left is stress and recovery we’re interested in this stress and recovery
balance and what we see here in this box the amount of stress
reactions there were 10 hours and 13 minutes of stress reactions
and contrast that with the amount of recovery day and night there were only six hours and
28 minutes of recovery and the biggest factor there
or were two uh one we didn’t see any recovery periods during the waking hours of the day
and we saw the initial hour and a half two hours after that person went to sleep where
they really weren’t getting good solid parasympathetic activation and therefore good
recovery so firstbeat has a scale to help make this relative to the
individual it’s a hundred point scale and you’ll see this individual still
achieved a score of 60. they barely made it into the good category from the moderate category
but and you see at the bottom it notes a small amount of recovery during the daytime
it was only 29 minutes which was uh total which was the reason we couldn’t
see a lot there uh during the day and the evening before they went to
sleep over on the right you see metrics related to sleep
and so we’re concerned with both the length of sleep which for most adults should be a minimum of seven
hours per minute per night uh for most people that’s seven to eight hours occasionally more
and the quality of recovery so the quality of that recovery is very
important and we measure that through our measurement of the degree of heart rate variation
heart rate variability and that’s measured in milliseconds so you see for this individual
they hit the good they had more than 39 milliseconds of heart rate variability they had 56
which is quite good and the amount of recovery during sleep they hit the good category
uh more than 75 percent and in th this case it was 86 percent of case so
those two factors combined gave this individual a score of 74 out
of 100 points for their their sleep looking at both looking at the restorative effect of
their sleep in terms of both the duration of sleep and the quality of
recovery which is directly correlated with the amount of heart rate variability
the other data that we get uh in each day’s report is measures of
physical activity and you can see at the bottom it is actually um
the device is able to measure and differentiate between light moderate and vigorous
physical activity so there were for this individual there were 26 minutes of light physical
activity 29 minutes of moderate and 5 minutes of vigorous activity and this was
sufficient to give them 75 out of 100 points you don’t have to be
a marathoner you don’t have to run 10 miles to get some very positive effects but
you do need to do something so ideally you’re getting some light physical activity during the day and
then you’re getting at least 30 minutes ideally of moderate
physical activity or vigorous physical activity each day
the final data block is is labeled energy expenditure
first speed is able to uh give the number of steps you see that at
the the bottom it has an accelerometer in the um in the bodyguard 2 monitoring
device in this case it was 7980 steps and um it shows the breakdown in
the graph there between vigorous and moderate physical activity light physical activity or other
and the the number of projected estimated calories that were burned up
from each of those three categories
the one of the nice aspects of the first speed lifestyle assessment score
is it also gives a a summary report for the three days looking at the three days in total
and one aspect of that is really important is a measure of total body resources and pattern of depletion
and replenishment so you see this graph is divided into thirds each
of those thirds represents uh one day of the three-day assessment period and
you see underneath what we’ve just looked at that graph showing uh red blue and green and the pattern for
that over that 24-hour period of time and you see that replicated for
each of the individual days you see that each of the blocks above
that for thursday the 23rd of this particular month friday the 24th and saturday the 25th
and by the way we usually do uh recommend that out of that three days you you
schedule it for two work days and then one day when you’re you’re off work which for most
people is a weekend day and you see where that individual started in terms
of total body resources and as you would expect in a busy day
you’re active they’re various stressors you’re going to draw down those body resources and so that’s what
is represented here by this declining line in this gray period this is
during sleep and so what we would expect to see is a replenishment and indeed we
do see with this patient the the line uh increases so that over the course of sleep and you
can see for this particular night this individual is getting good solid recovery almost
solid parasympathetic nervous system activation so that when
you start the next day you you’ve replenished represented by
all of these uh green plus signs then in day two you will again start
draining um uh depleting those resources but look at the contrast for this second
night rather than what we saw the first night when we were replenishing
you look at the graph below this uh and you see there was not good quality
sleep there wasn’t a lot of parasympathetic activation and so what we saw was just a continual
decline very minimal replenishment when there was a bit more
parasympathetic activation towards the end of the sleep cycle and so when that
happens you’re starting uh at a low point rather than a high point and so you continue
to uh to be deplenished fortunately by the third night um there was a much better response
it was a lot of parasympathetic activation so a lot of good recovery going on
during sleep and this individual did start to to gain ground again
but the overall effect of the three-day period of time when we look at it in
toto was we ended up at a body resource level lower than when we started at the
beginning of the assessment period and then you see below the lifestyle assessment score
uh this individual for the three days as a whole scored 70 to over 100
and so they made it into the good category but not the excellent category
primarily because they had really good recovery the first night and the third night even
though they didn’t have good recovery the second night
final thing i want to mention that’s in the report is an estimate of one’s fitness level
if an individual any time during the three days of assessment um will will walk for a minimum of 30
minutes at a fairly vigorous space but you don’t have to jog we don’t want you to run we just want
you to keep moving and over fairly level terrain so we don’t want you going up lots of hills
you need to find a relatively level area in which to walk and you simply do that
for 30 minutes you don’t have to adjust anything on the monitoring device
it will automatically detect this and if you give it that initial 30 that
minimum of 30 minutes then it will produce an estimate of what we call vo2 max
vo2 max is the gold standard measurement that reflects the body’s ability to
efficiently process oxygen so an individual an elite athlete an
olympic athlete is going to almost without exception have a very high level of vo2 max
they’re very efficient at processing large amounts of oxygen in being able to
convert that to uh to energy to support their metabolism
now a big piece of this is genetic you know they’re just so many um um
um olympic athletes in the in the world uh but uh
some of the individuals with the highest recorded vo2 max are olympic or tour de france
cyclist lance armstrong had a very very high vo2 max
but in order to measure vo2 max directly that gives us that estimate of uh of overall
fitness level it’s um it’s expensive and and and you really
have to go to some effort i know the the maryland farms ymca
in brentwood used to do these i don’t know if any part of the ymca system is providing
this service now but years ago for a cost of about a hundred dollars
they would put you on a treadmill they would exercise you maximally all the time while you’re wearing uh
this looks like a gas mask and in a sense it is it’s measuring the amount of exhaled
carbon dioxide you produce and those are the measurements you have to have in order to measure vo2 max
directly the beauty of this and a first speed is through their extensive research they
found they can get within uh get a very close estimate to one’s
what one’s um vo2 max is corresponding to their fitness level by
simply having you walk at a vigorous pace for at least 30 minutes
during the course of the monitoring period so you see in this case this was a 39 year old individual i
don’t know whether it was a male or a female it gives you their height and weight and their body mass index they
were 26 you know ideal body mass index is 18.5 to 25 so they’re not excessively
overweight they’re just barely into the overweight category
and they had a resting heart rate of 44 but a maximum heart rate of 183
but they did not have they they self-indicate what their level of activity is and it
was very poor to begin with so when they did this not surprising uh they had a fitness
level which was in the poor category it corresponded to a vo2 max of 38.
and so what this shows us is an individual’s vo2 max and it’s according to your age and
gender it takes that into account to determine your level
of fitness and in this case for a 39 year old that vo2 that estimated vo2 max
of 38 put them into the the poor category but this is useful information it’s useful for
the patient it’s useful for us as clinicians because we have an objective measure of of where you’re
starting and then hopefully can encourage you to engage if you’re not already involved
in in regular physical activity both ideally uh cardio and some resistance training
to improve your fitness level and then when we measure this subsequently maybe six months or a year later
hopefully we see a big improvement all right that is everything i had hoped
to to cover in this in this introduction to heart rate
variability i hope it’s fairly clear to you now of the value that we can get
by measuring this information and how it just gives us a real window into our autonomic nervous systems and
consequently our patterns of stress and recovery what i will talk about in my next
webinar will build on this webinar and we’ll talk about
some techniques that we can use to increase heart rate variability to increase our overall health
and and wellness how we can increase that amount of recovery that that we’re
experiencing each day so at this point i’m going to end our slideshow
and close that oops and stop the share
and i’ll go to the questions and answers
at this point we don’t have any open questions i hope that means that
everything was perfectly clear i’m sure that’s not
the case but i hope enough of this was clear so that you get the idea of what heart
rate variability is and how it can be used in a very practical way
just to give you a lot more insight and your your provider more insight into your
periods of recovery and and stress um we live in in a stressful world with lots of
stress particularly coming out of covid but still a lot of stress from that and
so having good techniques in order to manage that stress reduce the stress
increase our amount of heart rate variability again as i said there’s a huge body of
research literature underlying heart rate variability and we know without question
that as we increase our heart rate variability we have lower morbidity lower mortality
and a much better quality of life so if there are uh no questions
uh we’ll end for today thank you for joining us i hope this was helpful and i look
forward to seeing you next time have a good evening

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This blog does not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone immediately.

David M. Ferriss, Jr., MD, MPH

David Ferriss, MD is a board-certified preventive medicine physician with a special interest in the role of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention and reversal of chronic disease.