Introducing Heart Rate Variability and The BradBeat iPhone App

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Incredible benefits come from measuring Heart Rate Variability, one of the most valuable biofeedback information available today, which is why I am so excited to introduce the BradBeat iPhone app!

Measuring HRV gives you a direct window in the functional state of your autonomic nervous system, so you can accurately observe your stress levels, recovery rate and readiness to train, and make better decisions to balance stress and rest in daily life. This is the age of high tech testing and wearable devices, but it seems like most of it is just gimmick or for entertainment value. HRV is different. HRV measures the beat to beat intervals between heart rates—the data you see as spikes on the graph of your EKG test in a hospital or laboratory. More variation indicates a harmonious balance between sympathetic (fight or flight) function and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system function, and delivers a higher HRV score on the 1-100 HRV scale. A metronomic beat indicates you are stressed, overtrained, or have poor cardiovascular health, delivering a low HRV score.

Recent technology innovation enables you to track HRV in real time using the BradBeat HRV iPhone app, which has been custom designed to my specifications by Sweetwater Health, leaders in mobile HRV technology. Yes, I had a ton of fun getting super technical with Jo Beth and Rhonda to develop this awesome app, and also go through an incredibly rigorous application process with Apple to get onto the App Store (nice to know there is no lame stuff on the App Store). For only $9.95, the BradBeat HRV app is easy to use by athletes or anyone else interested in monitoring stress/rest balance.

The BradBeat HRV (and other mobile HRV apps if you have Android), pair with a wireless chest transmitter to reveal real-time data on your iPhone, which you can archive online or download to a spreadsheet. My podcast guest Joel Jamieson tells me the HRV machines he used on athletes back in the day cost $30,000 and required 11 electrodes placed all over the body.

This show gets a little technical as you learn about the important nuances such as additional readings of low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) autonomic nervous system function, but you will come away with an excellent understanding of the benefits of HRV and how to use them to your maximum advantage to make better decisions and learn to gain more control over your stress response. For example, when you are cruising along on a stress hormone buzz, you might feel “great” and take on a stressful day or a hard workout, but you’re amped up state will deliver a low HRV reading. Consequently, you will be compelled to build in rest periods in pursuit of healthy stress/rest balance. It has been a great experience to bring this product to market, and I believe HRV can help you more than any other biofeedback metric or wearable device. HRV goes beyond the long-established tracking of resting heart rate to determine state of recovery and readiness to train. Visit the App Store to order and learn more about the features and benefits, including which chest transmitters work with the BradBeat.

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