With the increase in wearable devices hitting the market, heart rate variability (HRV) is becoming quite a hot topic. As HOWL Founder and CEO Will Ahmed shared in a recent podcast mind body green episode, this powerful metric can help you understand the current state of your body at any given moment. In general, the higher or more stable your HRV score, the better. But how do you raise your own levels?
Below, three underrated ways to increase your HRV, plus a quick refresher on why it’s important.
At a glance, HRV is a measure of how much variation there is between the rhythm of your heartbeats. Having a higher HRV is a sign that you are fit, well rested and recovering well. Having a lower HRV means you could be stressed, exhausted, or sick.
HRV is markedly different from resting heart rate, as the former has no ideal range to aim for. Instead, improvement is about increasing your personal HRV, measuring success against your previous HRV rather than comparing your levels to others.
You can look at this notion of individualized ideals from a perspective 2020 study of Fitbit data from 8 million users‘ smartwatch data: factors such as gender, genetics and even hormonal changes during menstruation and menopause can significantly alter your HRV.
We’ve covered HRV in depth before, so check out this article to learn more about what your ideal HRV looks like and additional tips for reaching your goal.