Heart rate variability to monitor health

Gay Clarke

Active Member
Remy, Two points:

First your HRV should NOT increase by more than a point or 2 over a couple of months. If it does then something is wrong. I am assuming you have a baseline to start from.

Secondly, if you use Elite HRV (for example) like most people and just look at your morning reading then you are missing a lot. If you have days when you monitor throughout the day, in short bursts or longer ones eg overnight, you will learn a lot about how your body behaves. This is turn will tell you when you need to pay attention to something. A faulty strap is VERY easy to tell from the pattern and results that you get.

I would also just refer to the Polar H7 that someone mentioned. This is the transmitter for the belt, in case it is not clear. A watch like the Polar A300 would be needed in addition if you want to monitor calorie burn which is ESSENTIAL for pacing in my opinion.

There is more than one type of strap for the H7 chest transmitter. That might be worth looking into.
 

Remy

Administrator
First your HRV should NOT increase by more than a point or 2 over a couple of months. If it does then something is wrong. I am assuming you have a baseline to start from.
I don't agree with this. The goal is to improve HRV over time...at least it is for me. My original baseline was in the low 50s and now I'm pretty consistently in the low 60s, which is much more appropriate for my age and improved health status.

When I noticed a problem with my strap, my morning HRV values were often in the 70s or 80s plus I had hundred of ectopic beats. This clued me in that there was a problem but it wasn't until I replaced the strap that I realized how much of a problem. So I would say, yes, it is possible to tell that there is a problem but it was not "easy" until the strap got very bad.

And it is true that the strap needs replacing every few months as a rule, more or less depending on sweat and activity level. I did not know this when I first bought my strap which is why I wrote this post here to let others know.

I'm not sure what useful information is to be gained by using it during activity though because it is totally normal for HRV values to plummet during exertion. That's not a sign of anything other than normal physiological changes.

I don't track calories because it's an artificial construct in terms of the body that holds no meaning for me and doesn't correlate with how I feel or how much I weigh. The body doesn't count calories, it counts electrons. Calories are a measure of heat, which is one type of energy, but not one that has much meaning when applied to the body, despite all the nutritionists that would have us believe otherwise.

There is more than one type of strap for the H7 chest transmitter. That might be worth looking into.
This is true. There are replacement straps available.

I hate the Polar H7 transmitter though. I cannot get the battery out of mine without wanting to flush the whole thing down the toilet first. Both the Zephyr and the wahoo TICKR are vastly superior in my opinion in this regard. Again, if you are a lighter user, this may not be an issue but I'm having to replace the batteries every month or two because I let it run all day sometimes.
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I was all impressed with how much my HRV had improved over the past few months. Until I realized that my strap had somehow worn out and was not making contact well, leading to an artificially inflated HRV value. :(

Reading reviews online, it seems like this is a problem if you sweat in your strap at all regularly. The salt in the sweat is bad for the strap somehow. I did wash it semi-regularly but it seems like most punk out after about 6 months of use. I'd say this time frame is longer in someone using it for sedentary readings only.

But I did want to make people aware that the straps do need to be replaced and if you start getting wonky high values, that is one reason why.

Also, this time around I bought a wahoo TICKR strap and so far it is my favorite by far. It's much more comfortable than either the Zephyr or the Polar and it snaps together in the center, which I also like. It connected easily to Sweetbeat and Elite HRV.
Good to know. I'm about to start assessing HRV and I'm in hot Las Vegas right now
 

Abrin

Well-Known Member
I was all impressed with how much my HRV had improved over the past few months. Until I realized that my strap had somehow worn out and was not making contact well, leading to an artificially inflated HRV value. :(
Ugh! That so sucks. I am sorry <3
 

TJ_in_UT

Well-Known Member
I hate the Polar H7 transmitter though. I cannot get the battery out of mine without wanting to flush the whole thing down the toilet first. Both the Zephyr and the wahoo TICKR are vastly superior in my opinion in this regard. Again, if you are a lighter user, this may not be an issue but I'm having to replace the batteries every month or two because I let it run all day sometimes.
I have a Polar H7 I've been using for several months on the original battery. The trick is to unsnap at least one of the snaps from the strap when it's not in use. Otherwise, it continues to use power (transmitting Bluetooth signals, I think).
 

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