What is heart rate variability (HRV) and how does it influence Inflammation?
HRV is the concept that your heart rate is different during an inhalation versus an exhalation. The larger the difference between your heart rate during an inhale and exhale equates to a higher HRV.
So….what does a higher HRV do for you?
Well, a higher HRV has been equated to lower rates of inflammation in the body, reduced incidence of autoimmune diseases. I am not sure how you are feeling after reading this, but I find it very encouraging! Why? Because you can impact your HRV through your breath!
Slowing your breath rate to about 5-6 breaths per minute has been shown to optimize a person’s HRV. Try this in a meditation today and comment about your response below!
Not sure how to get started? It’s easier than you think! Find a comfortable position. Whether you start by lying down on your back with a pillow under your knees or in a seated position, that’s completely up to you!
Bring your awareness to your breath and just spend a few minutes observing your breath. Where does it reside? What is the length of your inhale compared to your exhale? As you start to settle in, you can slowly begin elongating the exhale, followed by a slow and steady inhale. This should be done without force or rigidity.
When just starting out, you may not be able to get your breath to a depth of 5-6 breaths per minute. Don’t force it. Just like everything else in life, it takes practice. Stay in the present moment by watching the breath. When your mind wanders, redirect it back to the breath!
Such a simple tool that you always have access to which will ultimately lead to reduced inflammation systemically in your body!
Posted in Physical Therapy
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