Your body is very clever. Your heart, blood vessels lungs and brain all work together to work out how much oxygen your body needs and how best to get it there! You can see on our previous articles, What Affects Your Heart Rate and Curious Fact About the Heart, that your heart rate can change depending on loads of different things including what you’re doing, the music you’re listening to and your mood.
But hearts are even more clever than that! Because when we say ‘heart rate’ we mean the number of times your heart beats in a minute, but your heart even changes its rhythm nearly every single beat! So that means if your heart beats 60 times a minute, it doesn’t usually beat exactly once a second - there could be 1.05 seconds between two heartbeats but then the next one happens 0.095 seconds later!
One cause of this is that when we breathe in the heart wants to beat faster (picture yourself taking a deep breath in before doing exercise) and when we breathe out our heart wants to beat slower - so depending on which one we’re doing when the heart beats effects the time before in next beats!
Other things that also affect the beat to beat changes include mental health - if you’re stressed then your body isn’t as able to react to all the little changes it usually can, so the changes in time between each heartbeat in response to go down. Something that can increase beat to beat variability is playing wind instruments!
So see if you can show us the changes in your heart rate using the Virtuali-tee pulse tracker! Exercise to increase your heart rate or even try closing your mouth, pinching your nose shut and trying to push air out (like what you do to fix ‘popped’ ears after a flight) because that actually lowers your heart rate!