Posts Tagged ‘exercise monitoring’

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as a Tool

Reporter and Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP

The article that follows expands on the discussions about exercise, walking or running, and burning calories, an adjunct to good nutrition.  It elucidates how monitoring of performance in physical conditioning is done by monitoring the heart rate variability.  The fact is that outside of concussion injuries that may take a toll in time, or even cause a subdural hematoma, there are “silent” events that are related to sudden death.  These are serious cardiovascular events.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as a Tool for Diagnostic and Monitoring Performance in Sport and Physical Activities

Journal of Exercise Physiology  Jun 2013; 15(3):103-131.  ISSN 1097-9751

B Makivic, M Djordjevic, MS Willis

1Center for Sport Science and University Sport, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 2Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Belgrade, Serbia, 3McAllister Heart Institute, University of North Carolina, Medical Biomolecular Research Building, Chapel Hill, NC.

The dynamic autonomic responses during exercise can be measured

  • to give actionable information for training
  • by analysis of the ECG to determine heart rate variability (HRV).

While application of HRV has been applied to

  • predict sudden cardiac death and diabetic neuropathy
  • in assessing disease progression,

recent studies have suggested that it may be applied to exercise training. In this review, we present

  • the rationale for measuring HRV.

We describe the

  • different variables used and
  • what they can tell us about the autonomic nervous system.

The use of HRV in detecting changes in exercise intensity is presented, along with evidence that

  • gender and age changes may affect autonomic HRV.

Lastly, we illustrate how

  • HRV measurements taken immediately post-exercise have proven to be useful
  • in measuring and monitoring training load to proscribe workouts and/or prevent over-training.

Despite the studies that

  • vary widely in their application to different training levels of athletes being tested and
  • HRV measures used,

the standardization of methodologies and results should help accelerate the use of HRV in sports training.
Key Words: Autonomic Nervous System; Overtraining; HRV


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