Improving Health


Musculoskeletal Health and Heart Rate: Know Your Norm

Posted by Kate Hunt, MSPT on April 20, 2021

1_KnowYourNormHow do you know if you are truly stressed? Transitions to the home work environment and social isolation are the biggest culprits of this stress response. The result? Dramatic changes in cardiovascular health.

It’s more important than ever to know YOUR personal norms related to your cardiovascular health. Resting Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) are cost effective self-monitoring indicators of physiological norms and an indication of when to push and when to take a break.

HRV is the time interval between heart beats and indicates your cardiovascular system’s ability to adapt to and recover from stress-physical or psychological. Normal HRV ranges from 20-200 milliseconds with higher numbers being indicative of better health, younger biological age, and better fitness. Lower numbers are warning signs of fatigue, overtraining, and potential dis-EASE.

Over the last few years, primary care and performance medicine has shifted from simply monitoring blood work and blood pressure, to highlighting the importance of self-management for prevention and reversal of heart disease emphasizing the importance of cardiovascular resiliency.

The COVID pandemic has added another layer to how we evaluate this resiliency and is shining a spotlight on how we cope in these unprecedented times. A January 2021 study published in Military Medicine cites HRV decreases by 40% and has a 90.9% predictive value of a COVID infection 72 hours before symptoms or a positive test. Want to learn more about how to improve your bandwidth?


Consider incorporating these lifestyle practices to keep your heart healthy, happy, and efficient:

  • Good nutrition goes a long way. Consult a registered dietician for a tailor-made plan.
  • Hydrate. Not a water drinker? Eat your water with increased veggie consumption or add a squeeze of citrus to your H2O
  • Avoid alcohol at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Get natural light
  • Wear blue glasses while on screens Try cryotherapy

Explore more resources to learn all about:

  • How to measure your Waking Resting Heart Rate
  • Training parameters for exercise, training, and biomechanical stress reduction to improve your body’s ability to recover quickly and reduce cardiovascular disease
  • Quick stress reduction hacks that immediately affect your HRV and Resting Heart Rate
  • Tools in the market to help you track your norms


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Kate Hunt, MSPT

About The Author

Kate Hunt, MSPT

With over 20 years of healthcare, rehabilitation, and wellness experience, Kate brings a unique blend of operations, clinical best practices, and community-based chronic health and wellness programs to CareATC. Her background includes multi-site strategic business operations, new business startups, and multi-specialty health and wellness care coordination and team development. Prior to joining CareATC, Kate was the President of Liveyoung, an integrative healthcare practice in Florida and Georgia. She was also the Regional Vice President of Strategic Operations for Alliance Care, where she co-developed and implemented an industry-leading proactive health and wellness model for seniors. Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida and a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida. Kate lives in Thomasville, Georgia and loves spending time cooking, camping, surfing, and adventuring with her two teenage boys and doodles.

Post Topics Physical Therapy, Prescriptive Therapeutics