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John G. Murray Jr. Chiropractic

10 Anderson Rd.
Clinton, NJ 08809
(908) 638-4144

Heart Rate Strata


Hello, Dr. John here and I want to talk to you a little bit about improving your adaptability as far as endurance, recovery, and just taking on stress on a whole other level. I’ve come up with a term that defines the different layers of stress that people are under. It’s called heart rate strata. Here’s what I’m talking about.

When you’re sleeping, you’re at a low level of activity in terms of your heart rate if you’re sleeping well. Here’s 60 beats a minute, here’s 70, here’s 50. When you’re sleeping you’re pretty much just oscillating along in this lower expression of demand.

When you wake up, the aspect of your nervous system called the sympathetics kick in. It’s perceiving stress; you’re getting up into a state of wakefulness. Here we are, 80 beats a minute and we might go, let’s say, to 100. When you wake up you immediately go from this 60 to 70 to 50 range, boom, up to almost double that amount.

Then you go through your day; it could be desk work. If you’re a physical laborer it might be more, but you’re basically going to have a variation in heart rate between 80 and 100, maybe 110 beats when you’re up and around and moving all day. When you’re moving and working you’re not at a rested state of 50 or 40 or 60 beats a minute. You’re at another level of strata, heart rate strata, based on demand.

You’ve worked all day; now you go to the gym and you’re on that treadmill. You’ve gone to another level of strata now, where maybe you’re exerting at a level of 120, 130 to 150 beats a minute, but you still don’t have a lot of variation in the heart rate. It’s still rather a more or less a flat line, so you can see where there’s different strata of heart rate expression based on demand during the day.

When you go to the gym after you’ve worked all day, you’re just duplicating your stressful life at a higher level of stress; you’re not promoting variability and adaptability.

Here’s what I want you to consider…

The next time you go to the gym and work out, sit down for 5 minutes. You’re going to come to a rested rate of 50, 60, 70 beats a minute but you’re going to sit for 5 minutes. Then you’re going to exert for a minute to a minute and a half. Then you’re going to cease activity altogether and then you’re going to rest and you’re going to breathe for about 4 to 5 minutes. Do 5 to 6 of those blocks, those intervals.

When you do this, you transcend layers of heart rate strata, and you’re going to transcend that stressful life you have and in doing so will promote recovery. You can see this is a much more adaptable system that can transcend these different layers of stress based on your demands in your body.

This activates the autonomic nerve system, the opposing systems that crank your system up; that’s the sympathetics, that’s the full throttle system as opposed to the parasympathetics, which are throttle down. You’re teaching your body to break up patterns of stress – chronic stress. Chronic stress promotes chronic disease of all sorts.

We can give you more detailed information on how to do this and we have breathing recovery patterns we can share with you, but start to think about avoiding heart rate strata: layers, parallel layers of heart rates. Learn to train to transcend those parallel layers and develop a more adaptable you. Not only your heart muscle but your nerve system, your endocrine system. You’ll sleep better; you’ll just be much better off. You’ll actually burn more calories. Get off the steady state program and get on heart rate variability, and wave. Have a great day.

Dr. John Murray

Dr. John Murray

"Empowering our patients to understand that their lifestyle choices make a difference is the greatest thing we can do."