HRV, Cryotherapy & Your Health
WHAT IS HEART RATE VARIABILITY (HRV)?
Heart Rate Variability is a great indicator for physical fitness and performance but also for how the body handles stress. HRV is simply the variation of time in between each heartbeat. It’s important because the lower the HRV, the worse the physical health and wellness. The higher the HRV, the healthier a person is and the better the ability to respond to stress. HRV monitoring is huge in the fitness community right now and is even used to build and plan training programs (Neumann et al., 1999;Berbalk & Neumann, 2002). These and other studies show the benefits of high HRV:
• The higher the HRV at rest, the lower the resting and working heart rate
• The higher the HRV at rest, the better the recovery heart rate for
• The higher the HRV at rest, the faster regeneration takes place for quick
recovery after exertion
• The higher the HRV at rest, the less the individual strain
So the conclusion is that we want high HRV not low HRV.
HOW DOES CRYOTHERAPY EFFECT HRV?
So how does cryotherapy impact HRV? One study (Hottenrott, 2002 and 2004) found that following a session of cryotherapy, the dominant activity of the parasympathetic nervous system shows a definite increase which results in an increase in HRV. According to this study, HRV at rest, after a cryotherapy session, is significantly higher.
Another study (Joch & Uckert, 2004a and 2004b) found that following a session of cryotherapy, the HRV is significantly higher than without cryotherapy.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
These 2 studies show us that cryotherapy significantly raises heart rate variability. Since we know the benefits listed above for higher HRV are improved performance, regeneration, recovery, less strain during activity, and better response to stress, cryotherapy has become one of the best ways to increase HRV. Whether you’re sedentary, active, injured, healthy, or simply need a healthier response to stress, an increased HRV can make a big impact on your health. Get in and get your cryotherapy session, increase your HRV, and increase your wellness!