How To Improve Heart Rate Variability: 10 ways to increase your HRV values


Improving heart rate variability means improving regeneration. The result: more energy, better training progress and – if that is your goal – more ease when losing weight.


Many people have lost the feeling of chronic stress. The result can be sleep disorders, weight loss problems or poor training progress. 


The HRV measurement helps restore the balance between Be – and discharge.


Heart rate variability (HRV) is an important marker of your health and fitness.


In this article, you will learn how to bring this fitness value to the next level – without putting the brakes on life too much.


Why improve heart rate variability at all?

It is best to take a moment and ask yourself why you want to improve your HRV values.


The clearer you know your goals, the sooner you can achieve them.


Here are a few possible motives:


  • Would you like to regenerate better to train more effectively?
  • Do you want to know how your body reacts to stress?
  • Do you want to increase your resilience and stress resistance?
  • Do you intend to start the day again with more energy in the future?
  • Maybe you want to monitor your health?
  • Or track down and eliminate previously undiscovered stressors?


Of course, measuring the HRV does not automatically mean that you have solved your topic.


But the value can give you an important insight into the condition of your body.


The HRV measurement gives you a chance, measurable, To make progress.


And in this way, find out what works for you – and what doesn’t.


Let us briefly repeat the terms.


What does heart rate variability mean (HRV)?

What does heart rate variability mean

Your heart beats like a metronome only under high stress: Usually, the time interval varies between two heartbeats.


Heart rate variability, HRV for short, quantifies the natural time deviation between heartbeats.


Your HRV provides valuable information about how well-regenerated and resilient you are before getting up in the morning.


A high heart rate variability indicates good regeneration and high resilience.


Low HRV, on the other hand, is a signal for limited resilience, lack of regeneration or other stressors, for example, an alarming immune system.


The HRV is one of the best objective measures of physical fitness and resilience.


If you don’t know the little multiplication table of heart rate variability yet, it’s best to continue reading here:


  • HRV measurement: The most important basics of heart rate variability.
  • HRV training: How to use them to optimize your training success.


There are different ways you can measure your HRV. Here are three that I tried myself.


How to improve your heart rate variability?

As you will see shortly, the HRV – increase is not rocket science:


Your heart rate variability improves through activities that we generally associate with health and fitness.


Unsurprisingly, this includes – regular training, a balanced diet, sufficient drinking and sleep.


Certain things like alcohol can quickly make your HRV rush into the basement.


In the next section, you will learn the most important sizes influencing your heart rate variability.


10 things that improve your HRV values


heart rate variability regular training

1.  Regular training (in the correct dose)


Several studies support the following context:


Regular training is one of the most effective ways to increase your HRV.


Of course, this principle also only applies to a certain point: ambitious athletes, in particular, can take care of and avoid overtraining.


Very intensive or long training presses your HRV, at least for a short time.


Therefore, it is important not to shoulder too much exercise load without giving your body the time it takes muscle regeneration to treat.


Here you can find out how your HRV training is used to find the optimal balance of Be – and relief.


Balanced nutrition at the right time

2.  Balanced nutrition at the right time

You probably thought that the right nutrients would also improve your HRV. Many people overlook another factor:


Not only the nutrients but also the TIMING of the food plays a role.


Your body works better if it knows what to expect.


You support your circadian rhythm by taking your meals regularly and at the same time of day.


This also enables you to improve your HRV values. You should consider one more thing:


Ideally, you will take your last major meal with you no later than 3 – hours before falling asleep.


This is how you improve the quality of your sleep, on the one hand. On the other hand, you give your body backing to regenerate – and bring your figure to the fore.


Drink water

3.  Improve heart rate variability – Drink water

Water can also improve your heart rate variability. This is because your drinking behaviour affects your blood volume.


The better you are supplied with water. The easier blood flows through your body.


And it is all the easier to supply the brain, muscles, tissues and all organs with oxygen and nutrients.


How much water do you need a day? The answer is related to how much you train and sweat. Here is a rule of thumb:


Your body needs about 30 – 40 ml of water per kilo of body weight.


So 1.8 – 2.4 litres for a 60 kg and 2.7 – 3.6 litres for a 90 kg person. Your need is higher when you do sports and sweat a lot:


The water requirement can increase by 0.5 – 1 litre per hour of exercise.


The manufacturer Whoop reported in 2019 in his podcast about the effects of good water supply on the willingness of its members to perform:


Heart rate variability improved by an average of 4.5 ms with a good water supply. The resting pulse dropped by 1.7 beats per minute.


In further articles, you can learn more about dehydration’s effects on your body and why drinking water can help with losing weight.


Live alcohol-free

4.  Improve heart rate variability – Live alcohol-free

Drinking is a good idea to improve your heart rate variability. However, this does not apply to alcohol.


Alcohol consumption causes your HRV – rate to crash fairly reliably.


Even with smaller amounts of alcohol. Evaluations by the manufacturer Whoop among its members came to an interesting result:


Heart rate variability decreased by an average of 33 ms.


The next day after the measurement. That coincides with my own experiences. I rarely drink alcohol, but I like a glass of red wine in good company.


Since I know the effect on my HRV, I have been less likely to choose it because I am more aware of the consequences.


Incidentally, the alcohol – effect seems to last longer:


Alcohol consumption lowers heart rate variability for 4 – 5 days.


Whoop also reported this. Logically, alcohol waiver has the opposite effect and ensures “naturally high “heart rate variability.


Sleep well and regularly

5.  Sleep well and regularly

A few years ago, Prof. clarified how important sleep is for your fitness and figure. Dr. Matthew Walker, in his world bestseller “Why We Sleep“. Since then, sleeping has become fashionable again, and that’s a good thing.


Sleep affects yours directly — muscle regeneration and performance.


That if you have enough healthy sleep your heart rate variability should not surprise you.


Most people need 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night.


Not only the amount decides, but – similar to the timing of eating and daylight.


You are well if you go to sleep and wake up simultaneously.


In this way, you stabilize your circadian rhythm, which is reflected in a higher heart rate variability.



6.  Improve heart rate variability – Daylight

As soon as the sun rose, our ancestors were exposed to natural light.


Daylight – in the fresh air – is still an important signal today that keeps your internal clock in balance and controls the metabolism. 


The light emission behind the glass is not sufficient for this.


Going outside as soon as possible in the morning after getting up is best.


This gives your body a chance to calibrate its biological clock and keep biological processes going that make you tired in the evening and awake and energetic in the morning.


This way of daylight impulse can also increase your HRV.


The same also applies to your mood and your body’s vitamin – D production.


heart rate variability cold thermogenesis

7.  Improve heart rate variability – Cold thermogenesis

For followers of the Wim – Hof – Method, I probably use this tip to open doors:


Cold, which exposes your body for a short time, ignites your body’s regeneration forces.


Short-term cold stimulates the vagus nerve, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system.


The vagus nerve is a kind of stress – switch.


The nerve arises in the brain, runs through the entire body and transmits information to organs and tissues.


It gives your body the important signal that everything is fine. So the prerequisite for your body to use its energy for healing, muscle building and regeneration.


The vagus nerve also controls heart rate variability.


Hard ores such as ice baths or hot-cold alternating showers can be training units for your vagus nerve.


Regular cold stimuli can increase your HRV.


Warmduscher, watch out: You don’t have to jump upside down into the ice water. Instead, you can gradually get used to it.


heart rate variability conscious breathing

8.  Conscious breathing

Wim Hof just mentioned also uses breathing techniques as part of his method. 


Your breathing affects not only your heart rate but also its variability:


Slow, controlled breathing can improve your heart rate variability.


While stress lowers heart rate variability, conscious breathing is an excellent stress lowering.


Here is a simple breathing exercise that can increase your HRV:


  • Breathe through the nose for 4 seconds.
  • Now hold the air for 2 seconds.
  • Now, you exhale deeply.


Already 15 seconds are enough to achieve an effect.


I prefer the exercise “To breathe” on my Apple Watch.


heart rate variability meditation

9.  Improve heart rate variability – Meditation

So far, I am unaware of any specific studies that have directly researched the connection between HRV and meditation. However, the following connection has been researched:


Stress lowers heart rate variability.


Conversely, you improve them by learning to bring you into a relaxed state.


Meditation is one way to deal with stressful situations effectively.


Like breathing techniques, I experience that you can use meditation – and mindfulness techniques to increase your HRV.


A minute a day can make a difference.


TIP: You can start your own meditation online business with the best Meditation teacher program here and I also wrote an article on how you can make six-figure from home as a meditation teacher.


Gratitude rituals

10.  Gratitude rituals

The final tip hits the same notch as the previous one but has been researched:


Running one Gratitude diary can increase your HRV.


At least this connection was found in a pilot study with heart patients.


The daily writing down of things you are grateful for is also associated with falling blood pressure and lower stress hormone levels.


Improve heart rate variability – Conclusion

The HRV – measurement is one of the most elegant ways to find the right dose from Be – and relief and to control your training (HRV training) optimally. My recommendation:


To improve your heart rate variability, you should monitor it as precisely as possible.


I have used this since the end of 2020 Whoop-Band.


Of course, body feeling also plays a role, perhaps even the most important.


Nevertheless, when you see white on black, it is extremely motivating how positive – is measurably positive – when you pick out one of the above 10 points and work on it.


Perhaps regular training, perhaps more conscious nutrition, the absence of alcohol or the fact that you are going to sleep more and more at the same time is the factor that transports your fitness to the next higher floor. 


Maybe it is simply morning coffee that you will enjoy more often in sunlight in the future.


raise your testosterone levels