Measuring your heart rate variability (also known as “HRV”) is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable ways to begin your day with a brief three to five minute period of simple self-quantification that tells you exactly how stressed your nervous system is, how prepared your body is to train, and how everything from stress to supplements to sleep to sex has affected your body.
I've certainly produced tons of content on exactly how HRV works and how to do it, including:
But in this podcast episode, I address – along with HRV expert Jo Beth Dow – the latest news in the world of HRV, brand new technologies, and even ways to measure HRV without a chest strap.
So who is Jo Beth Dow?
Jo Beth Dow is a cofounder, CTO and COO of SweetWater Health, LLC, a pioneer in the use of heart rate variability as a platform for remote monitoring and diagnostics. Dow has spent her career in high tech designing and producing state-of- the-art networking technology and building high tech companies. Dow entered the networking industry at its inception and has been at the forefront of networking technology development, including Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and FDDI while working for Ungermann-Bass, Telebit, Network Peripherals, Granite Systems, Cisco and Dominet Systems. She founded and grew several technology companies where she honed her financial and operations expertise, including Granite Systems (acquired by Cisco), Dominet Systems, RedMedic (acquired by Blue Shield, and SweetWater Health).
She also served as CFO for Content Rules, a content development firm specializing in high tech clients. During her five-years at Content Rules, Dow took the firm from $3M to $8.7M in revenue. Dow co-founded SweetWater Health LLC with CEO Ronda Collier in 2011. SweetWater Health is a mobile health software technology company with a platform that measures heart rate variability (a vital sign that reveals an individual’s state of health for a number of different conditions and applications) and facilitates continuous monitoring of stress levels via a patented algorithm. She is responsible for engineering development of the product, operations, finance and corporate strategy. Dow graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences at Florida Atlantic University.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-What I personally do with my own HRV numbers and how I choose the exercise I'm going to do based on my HRV numbers…[6:45 & 9:10]
-Whether there is any kind of special difference between the algorithm used in NatureBeat and the other popular HRV tools out there, like EliteHRV, MyIthlete, Bioforce, etc…[11:35]
-The first screen on NatureBeat has four options for monitoring stress – monitor stress, heart rate recovery, HRV for training and 3 min HRV checkup – and Jo Beth walks us through each…[20:50]
-How you can use your HRV measurement to tell whether or not you are depressed…[29:15]
-How much you can “game” that value with breathing, relaxation or meditation techniques while measuring your HRV…[35:15]
-When a high HRV is a bad thing…[38:15]
-How the food test works, and how Ben figured out he was eating “the wrong thing” for lunch…[47:05]
-How you can use the “correlation” screen to see how everything from body weight to stress to weight affects the HRV…[51:25]
–What heart rate monitor straps work best for measuring HRV…[55:45]
-How you can measure your heart rate variability without using a chest strap…[59:00]
-How a Zoom HRV monitor works to measure your HRV, along with your blue light exposure…[62:20]
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
–LifeTrak Zoom HRV Monitor – use code ZOOMNB10 to get $10 off within the United States
–LifeTrak Zoom HRV Monitor – use code ZOOMNB10 to get $10 off outside the United States
-Four Sigmatic – Go to FourSigmatic.com/Greenfield and use code code BENGREENFIELD for 15% off.
-Kimera Koffee – Go to KimeraKoffee.com and use code BEN to get 10% off your order!
-Human Charger – Just go to humancharger.com/ben and use the code BFITNESS for 20% off.
-Thorne – Go to GreenfieldFitnessSystems.com/Thorne to check out pure, high quality supplements.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Jo Beth or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!