EPISODE 411: Heart Rate Variability Simplified

“I know my body!” is something I hear from yoga students constantly. Sometimes they want to keep practicing and shouldn’t (due to injury or illness), or maybe they want to stop practicing and shouldn’t (because the breakthrough is a few poses away). I wish we all knew and understood our inner world as well as our outer world, but most of us don’t.

Quick check-in: do you know your resting heart rate right now? Do you know your respiratory rate? How about your blood glucose level? These can all be measured at home, and yet most of us don’t. We don’t know our bodies.

Of all the quantified self measurements, heart rate variability is perhaps the least known and utilized because it requires math and a daily commitment to check – but it delivers powerful insight into your readiness state based on your stress levels. A healthy heart is not slow and steady like a locomotive, it’s highly agile and variable like a cat meandering through a field. On this week’s show, we’ll dive into the how and why of heart rate variability.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How a healthy heart is not slow and steady but instead agile and variable
  • How the variability of your heartbeats is a direct window into your nervous system
  • How overtraining and lifestyle stress can affect your HRV score
  • How breathing, rest, and a good training schedule can improve your HRV, reduce the risk of injuries

Links & Resources:

ABOUT OUR GUEST

Marco is a data scientist, programmer, and has a PhD in applied Machine Learning. He leads data science at Bloomlife, a digital health startup focusing on helping expecting mothers have a healthy pregnancy. He’s been developing apps since 2012.

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