Heart rate variability is one of many noteworthy health and fitness-related features included in watchOS 8. Therefore, to stay on track to reach your fitness objective, you need always keep an eye on your HRV, regardless of whether you are a health-conscious person or a fitness freak. Now, if you’re curious about heart rate variability in Apple Watch and how to check it, keep reading because we explain it in full in this comprehensive guide.
Heart Rate Variability in Apple Watch: Explained
I like to go over the fundamentals and key ideas when discussing a notable new feature so you can get a better idea of what you are getting into. Again, if you are already aware with the fundamentals of HRV, use the table below to skip right to the instructions for turning on the Apple Watch’s Heart Rate Variability feature.
What is Heart Rate Variability and Why Does It Matter for Your Health?
The variation in time between each heartbeat is thought to be measured by heart rate variability. The autonomic nervous system, also known as the ANS, is a basic component of the nervous system that regulates the heart rate variability (HRV), which is essential for controlling functions like breathing, blood pressure, digestion, and heart rate.
Sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve systems make up the majority of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The fight-or-flight reaction and the relaxation response are other names for them. When you exhale, your heartbeats tend to be spaced farther apart, and when you inhale, they are closer together.
People with relatively high heart rate variability are generally more physically fit and more tolerant to stress. In short, HRV provides more information about your lifestyle or, for that matter, how fit you are.
Difference Between Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability
What distinguishes heart rate from heart rate variability, you might be asking now? To put it simply, heart rate counts the average number of beats per minute, whereas heart rate variability identifies particular variations in the intervals between heartbeats. And the period of time between beats is known as the R-R interval or inter-beat interval, and it is measured in milliseconds (ms) (IBI).
What is the Normal (or Good) Range for Heart Rate Variability?
Keep in mind that everyone’s HRV score is relative to them and reacts differently. Medical professionals believe that an adult’s normal HRV should fall between 20 and 200 milliseconds. Low HRV is a sign of deteriorating depression and has even been linked to a higher risk of death or cardiovascular disease.
Is Apple Watch Accurate in Recording HRV?
Apple Watch is capable of monitoring heart rate variability from the comfort of your home since it has an optical heart sensor that makes use of photoplethysmography (PPG). For those who are not familiar, photoplethysmography is an optical method used to identify changes in blood volume in the tissue’s microvascular bed.
The green LED lights on Apple Watch are used to measure the quantity of blood circulating through the wrist using light-sensitive photodiodes. The smartwatch calculates the number of heartbeats each minute by flashing the LED lights hundreds of times per second.
When you exercise and utilise Breathe, the wearable device measures your heart rate using LED lights. The Apple Watch can also compute walking average and heart rate variability thanks to the green lights.
How to Check Heart Rate Variability with Apple Watch
The Health app on your iPhone is linked with all of the HRV data that was captured on your Apple Watch. To view your workouts, heart rate, and other health indicators, you must open the built-in Health app.
1. Start your iPhone’s Health app.
2. Next, select Browse from the menu in the bottom right corner.
3. Next, select Heart from the list of health categories.
4. Select Heart Rate Variability next.
5. The Health app should now display a graph of your heart rate variability as determined by the Apple Watch. You can tap onD to view the daily measurements from this page. While the W lets you see the weekly average, the M enables you look at the measurements for the previous month. You might have anticipated that theYoption allows you to view the HRV averages for the previous year.
How to Manually Add HRV Data to Apple Health App
As I already explained, the Apple Watch records heart rate variability with exceptional accuracy. It’s not ideal, though. Therefore, you can manually input Heart Rate Variability data in the Health app on your iPhone if you ever find any inconsistencies.
- Head over to the Apple Health app on your paired iPhone and navigate to Browse -> Heart -> Heart Rate Variability as we did in the steps above.
2. Next, select Add Data from the menu in the top right corner of the display. Add the precise time, date, and HRV value after that (in ms). To confirm the changes, hitAddin the top right corner when finished.
Add Heart Rate Variability to Your Favorites for Easy Tracking
Why not add HRV to the favourites section so that it displays in the Summary of the Health app if you frequently need to measure heart rate variability? Well, we’ve outlined how to accomplish it specifically so you can easily monitor HRV.
- Open the Apple Health app on your paired iPhone and move to Browse tab -> Heart -> Heart Rate Variability.
2. Next, a little farther down, tap the star icon next to the Add to Favorites option. Now that it has appeared in the Summary area, your HRV data is easily accessed from the Health app’s home screen.
View and Manage Detailed Heart Rate Variability Data
1. Select the Browse tab, the Heart, and Heart Rate Variability in the Apple Health app.
2. Now navigate to the bottom of the page. You should notice several sections here where you can manage your data:
- Show All Data: Tap on it to dive into the details of your recorded HRV data. You can tap on the Edit option at the top right to delete specific data or get rid of all the data at once.
- Data Sources & Access: It allows you to keep track of data sources and find out the apps that are allowed to read your data.
- Show All Beat-to-Beat Measurements: As the name itself suggests, it lets you take a close look at all the beat-to-beat measurements.
- Beat-to-Beat Measurement Data Sources and Access: It allows you to view the beat-to-beat measurement data sources and access.
Track Your Heart Rate Variability on Apple Watch With Ease
All you really need to know to monitor heart rate variability on your Apple Watch is that. It is easy to monitor the beat-to-beat measures of HRV because of its tight interaction with the iPhone’s Health app. I must state that the watchOS 8 gadget is accurate in terms of logging exercises and offering in-depth insight into your progress because I significantly rely on the Apple Watch to keep in shape. What are your thoughts on the Apple Watch as a fitness and health gadget? Post your comments in the space provided below.