Are you well versed on how your nervous system functions?
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls bodily functions such as:
- heart rate
- blood pressure
- body temperature
- pupil dilation
ANS allows us to react and adjust these functions without consciously thinking and is split into two components:
The Sympathetic (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS)
These nervous systems provide input into our bodies at all times- acting to decrease or increase activities.
Here's the difference between SNS and PSNS:
How does this affect our heart rate variability (HRV)?
- It measures how the SNS and PSNS affects your heart beat
- When your nervous system is balanced, your heart is constantly told to beat slower by your PSNS
- Beats faster come from your sympathetic system
- These mixed messages result in a constant state of variation in your heart rate.
How is HRV determined?
When you have high HRV, your body is responsive to input from both the SNS and PSNS
This is a sign your nervous system is balanced, and your body is capable of peak performance.
A low HRV means one branch is dominating and sending stronger signals to your heart than the other. An example would be running a race OR on high alert for a task you need to complete.
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