With the uptick in wearable devices hitting the market, heart rate variability (HRV) is becoming quite a hot topic. As WHOOP founder and CEO Will Ahmed shared on a recent mindbodygreen podcast episode, this powerful metric can help you understand your body’s current state at any given moment. In general, the higher or more stable your HRV score, the better. But how do you elevate your own levels?
To come, three underrated ways to raise your HRV, plus a quick refresher on why it matters.
At a glance, HRV is a measurement of how much variation between the timing of your heartbeats. Having a higher HRV is a sign you are fit, well-rested, and recovering well. Having a lower HRV means that you could be stressed, burnt out, or sick.
HRV is starkly different from resting heart rate, as the former doesn’t have one ideal range to shoot for. Instead, improvement is all about increasing your personal HRV, measuring success against your former HRV rather than comparing your levels to others.
You can see this notion of individualized ideals from a 2020 study on Fitbit data from 8 million users‘ smartwatch data—factors like sex, genetics, and even hormonal shifts during menstruation and menopause can significantly alter your HRV.
We’ve covered HRV in-depth before, so check out this article for more information on what your ideal HRV looks like and extra tips to reach your goal.