Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the variation in milliseconds between two heartbeats. More specifically, it is the variation in the duration of a full cardiac cycle, known as the beat-to-beat interval. To ensure constant measurements, the cardiac contraction that leads to systole, the point of highest blood pressure (R), is used as a fixed point at the start of each cardiac cycle.
Despite apparent regularity, the time needed for a full cycle can vary by a few milliseconds. These variations are caused by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). They reflect the heart’s ability to modulate its rhythm according to external and internal demands, such as stress, an unhealthy lifestyle, dietary deficiencies and overwork or overtraining.
The data needed to calculate HRV is collected using a heart rate monitor, so it is a straightforward and non-invasive procedure. The measurements are taken in several stages, each relating to particular ANS functions.
The autonomic nervous system plays an essential role in the way our bodies work. It regulates all our vital activities without us being aware of it. It is the ANS, for example, that manages our breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood circulation.
As it works autonomously, it frees up time for us to devote a large part of our brain power to activities that are not in themselves vital; however, it also gives rise to a lack of awareness of our true state of health. The ANS is so efficient that it will try to regulate our vital functions without us being consciously aware of it, which implies that it is sometimes too late to react when symptoms of illness appear.
HRV analysis is currently the only non-invasive procedure to assess the state of the autonomic nervous system. Our methodology is based on Laurent Schmitt’s expertise and knowledge. For more than 20 years, he has been supporting a large number of elite athletes and their coaches, helping them reach the top of their form in various sports:
- Biathlon, duathlon and triathlon
- Combined cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and ski mountaineering
- Athletics and gymnastics
Our methodology reveals information transmitted unconsciously by the autonomic nervous system. It is therefore capable of evaluating the body’s energy level and its state of health in general.