What are HRV and HRV training?
HRV or Heart Rate Variability training is a simple breathing exercise designed to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It is often used as part of stress regulation programs to counteract the effects of long-term stress.
The heart does not beat at exactly regular intervals- there are tiny variations in the time between each beat. This variation or heart rate variability can be used to measure an individual’s physical and mental health: a high HRV is a sign of a biologically young and healthy body. HRV can be increased by spending time breathing at the same rate as your pulse, a process which forms the basis of HRV training.
During training, you will monitor your heart rate using either a belt or a special phone app and breathe in when your pulse is rising and out when your pulse falls. In doing so you will naturally fall into a slower breathing rhythm that enhances your HRV over time.
Practicing HRV training regularly for 5-10 minutes a day has been shown to have a range of health benefits, including reduced stress, better sleep, healthier blood pressure and increased ability to adapt to different situations. HRV training also serves as a useful relaxation exercise that can be used during busy or stressful times to unwind.