Garmin’s new HRV Status report explained

 Garmin’s new HRV Status report explained

Garmin’s upcoming watches, the Forerunner 955 and 255, have something called the Garmin. HRV status report. Here’s how it works.

What you need to know about heart rate variability (HRV)

The change in heart rate is significant. For the uninitiated this measure captures the change in the time interval between successive heartbeats. It is recorded in milliseconds.

Important reading: Basic fitness tracker and health gadgets

What many people don’t know, your heart is not the same detector and there is a constant change of beats. Counter-intuitively, HRV rises when you rest and it decreases during stress. This can occur due to psychological stress or fatigue, for example, from exercise. The parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system have the same effect.

HRV varies from individual to individual and many factors affect the readings. Some of it like your age and gender you can’t influence. Others like sleep, caffeine and alcohol consumption, stress, exercise etc – you can.

It’s not so hard to figure out why professional athletes track their HRV every day. This is because the metric tells them how their body handles physical fatigue. HRV readings show how tired you are at any particular point in time, and can be indicative of possible symptoms of the disease.

Do you have to slow down or push too hard on a particular day? Check your HRV in the morning and have a better idea.

Garmin’s solution

Garmin currently allows you to record HRV on some devices via an on-demand test called Health Snapshot. It captures many metrics including heart rate, HRV, Pulse Ox, respiration and stress.

Watches consistent with this report include the D2 Air X10, D2 Mach 1, Epix (Gen 2) series, Fenix ​​7 series, Forerunner 945 LTE, Tactix 7 series, Venu 2 and Venue 2 Plus. There is a two minute timer where the test is taken. The results are shown according to the screen-shot below.

Garmin Health Snapshot
Garmin Health Snapshot

It’s all well and good but not very beneficial for HRV. Basically, you want something that tracks this amount throughout the night and releases a metric when you wake up in the morning. Step on the Garmin HRV status report.

The metric was created by Garmin’s Firstbeat Analytics team. It records HRV during sleep as a nightly average amount. You also get a 7 day rolling average HRV with a scale that shows how it compares to your baseline amount calculated over the long term. The watch must be worn for at least three weeks for this baseline to be established.

Here’s what it looks like on the Garmin Forerunner 255. As you can see, a nice clean interface shows everything you need to know at a glance. Basically, you want to be in the Green zone and avoid the Red zone. You can also get insights from Garmin based on your HRV value.

HRV status
Garmin HRV Status

Garmin also had a Body Battery measure a few years now, however HRV status more useful. Hopefully, the measure will come to other devices soon via firmware updates. Probably, all watches can make one Health Snapshot there is hidden tech to get the HRV status report.

Compare this to the Fitbit solution and you will see that it is more professionally made. Fitbit just shows your nightly average HRV last week on a simple line chart. Not very useful.

Fitbit HRV
The Fitbit solution

In addition to HRV statusthe Forerunner 955 also has something called and Quality of Training Readiness. It considers the quality of your sleep, recovery, training load and so on. Which means you have a lot of data to recover to sink your teeth into.

And let’s not forget the Morning report. Introduced for the first time by the Garmin Lily, it features a weather summary, Body Battery, step goal and step sequence, calendar and Women’s Health tracking (if applicable).

You get a report with the same name as Forerunner 255 and 955. But in their case Morning report shows sleep, recovery time, training status and HRV status immediately after waking. It also gives you your daily training recommendation.

Garmin does not charge for data access

These new Garmin recovery metrics will definitely give Whoop something to think about. Their fitness band is part of these types of scales but it’s not cheap. You need monthly membership with a minimum commitment of 12 months beyond the 30 day trial window. Fitbit has also started charging for some of its data.

All credit to Garmin for not going this route – the company has not yet charged users to gain access to their data. Let’s hope it continues this way, and that new recovery metrics flow to other devices.

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