In today’s world of technology and the Internet, it’s relatively simple for us to find, download, and use a wide range of health apps, including one that’ll allow us to calculate and see whether or not our Heart Rate Variability – or simply said, HRV – is high or low. But, for people that have just started examining their metrics, the entire process and results might be a bit confusing.

If you’re one of those people who just started using such health apps, don’t worry about being confused, all people are when they first start out! To make it easier for you to understand the results you receive, here is a list of things that you should know about your heart rate variability readings:

Before we look at some other information that might interest you, you might be wondering what does HRV means. For starters, you have to remember that it’s different from the heart rate you have, which will tell you the number your heart pounds in a minute, instead, your HRV will tell you the period between every beat. It is calculated in milliseconds and they could easily vary since they are influenced by a wide range of factors.

For example, the time between the pounds will be long when you exhale, while they’ll be short when you inhale. Hence, even if your HR is approximately 60 a minute, the time between them isn’t usually one second. Some of the factors that could impact your readings are your hormones, metabolism, exercise extent, chronic illnesses, stress, your age & gender, sleep intervals & quality, as well as genetics, and diet. Here are some FAQs about HRV:

As we’ve previously mentioned, an HRV can easily vary and rely on a wide range of elements, which means that it’s quite difficult and daunting to compare your results to ones another individual receives – and it’s also not advised. This is why it’s always reasonable to estimate and monitor the data by yourself, which you can do by using apps such as Welltory that are available on both the Google Play Store and App Store.

Nonetheless, high HRV metrics are an indicator that your heart is working as it should be, that it could easily adjust to both stress and external factors, and it’s generally received by individuals that frequently exercise and work out. Now, you should know, this particular reading can be sensitive. What does this mean? Well, it basically means that it doesn’t have to be constant and that it can vary from one reading to the next.

Generally speaking, people that are younger and that are physically active tend to get a higher reading than older individuals. Additionally, it’s also worth mentioning that males frequently receive a higher reading than females. Additionally, professional athletes will always have a higher reading than all the categories mentioned above, thus, if you’re a professional athlete, expect the reading to be high at all times.