Focusing on heart health is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness. Nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits are things people consider when seeking to improve their health. Tracking your heart rate variability (HRV) is another way to improve your heart health. Knowing your HRV can help you notice health imbalances, and help you take the necessary steps to prevent future issues.
What is a Good HRV Score For My Age?
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a way to measure the variation of heartbeats. When you measure basic heart rate, you usually pay attention to the number of beats per minute. HRV helps you notice exact changes in the time between heartbeats. HRV is measured in milliseconds.
Perhaps you’re wondering ‘what is a good HRV score for my age?’ A good HRV score varies for each person. Each person has a unique biological makeup and different health needs. As a result, a good HRV score can vary from individual to individual. However there is a general healthy range for HRV; a healthy person 40 years old and over usually has a score of 100 or more milliseconds (MS). A person with this HRV usually has excellent health and fitness.
What is a Healthy HRV Range?
Certain situations and health conditions may cause your HRV to fluctuate. If you’re sleeping or exercising, the rate will also change. Your heart rate variability will react to stress or sickness before you notice a change in your body. If you’re tracking your HRV, you will notice the change as a signal that something is out of balance.
A healthy HRV score is generally in a higher range. If you have a higher rate, it’s actually a good sign of optimal health and wellness. Each person’s range is different and depends on several factors, like medical history and current lifestyle habits. Normal adults can have a range of 20 to 200 beats per millisecond. A higher HRV score means your body has a better resistance to illness and diseases.
What is An Optimal HRV Score?
Many people want to know about their optimal HRV score when frequently tracking their heart rate. Once again, it’s important to remember that heart rate and heart rate variability are two different things. It’s also important to understand the danger of comparing your HRV average to others.
Each person has unique health needs and will have a different HRV average. Males and females will also have a slightly different range from one another, and this naturally decreases with age. If you’re learning to track your HRV score to improve your heart health, it’s helpful to know the optimal range. A general rule for optimal HRV is over 100 MS.
What is Better: High or Low HRV?
Does it really matter if your HRV score is high or low? The answer is, yes, it matters. Your score can help you improve your overall health and wellness. Although HRV fluctuates each day, a consistently high HRV shows optimal health.
Measuring Your HRV
Wearable devices are the best ways to measure your HRV on your own. These devices help detect your current HRV as it measures the blood flow and then counts the wave of the intervals. Your HRV score should increase as your fitness level improves and you're rested and recovered. Your HRV levels will decrease with stress without recovery.
Implications and Effects on Health of a Low HRV Score
We’ve explored the importance of a high HRV and the impact it has on your health. Now, let’s explore the effects of a low HRV and what it means for your health.
If you have a low HRV, it usually means your body is experiencing stress or illness. It may serve as a sign of poor health. This can mean a decline in mental or physical health because of stress, anxiety, depression, or chronic illness. If you experience a consistently low HRV score, you may want to seek medical advice.
What is a Good HRV For a 50 Year Old Woman?
HRV naturally declines with age. Women around age 50, usually notice a drop in HRV to a score of approximately 30-55 MS. For women in their fifties, a good HRV score usually falls between 30 and 60.
It’s important to remember your score varies with age and health. There are things you can do to improve your HRV score. Focusing on good nutrition, increasing exercise, and prioritizing sleep are essential to increase your score and boost your health.
What Causes HRV To Drop?
We’ve already learned a few reasons HRV can drop. Age is a primary reason for lower HRV scores in both men and women. But are there other things that cause HRV to drop? Yes, there are several factors, including:
- Physiological factors - age, gender, medical history
- Diseases - heart, lung, renal failure, mental health, and more
- Sudden pain - alters the nervous and immune system
- Climate change - humidity, sudden shift in temperature
- Excessive noise - damages the nervous system
These are just a few factors that can alter your HRV and cause it to drop. Remember that many factors each day can cause changes in your HRV. It’s important to monitor it over a length of time rather than focusing on one day. This will give you a true average and how to better improve your health.
Does Anxiety Affect HRV?
Anxiety affects HRV in both men and women. Studies show that heart rate variability can drastically shift in people who struggle with anxiety. These people usually have a lower heart rate when resting or engaging in fitness. People with anxiety disorders usually struggle with cardiovascular disorders as well. Lower HRV can occur from these cardiovascular issues.