Can Cryotherapy Benefit Your Heart?
- Health & Recovery • April 2, 2020
Researchers are now using the Heart Rate Variability as a marker for resilience and behavioral flexibility.
Have you ever wondered what the effect of stress on your heart may be? Well researchers have found out one way to monitor your stress levels is through something called a Heart Rate Variability or HRV. A healthy body is able to regulate its functions through the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. However, when we are stressed, lack exercise, or have a poor diet, our ability to regulate these functions diminish.
The HRV is the a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat, it is controlled by the primitive part of our nervous system which is called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The stress from the day-to-day life impacts our ANS and hinders our HRV and negatively affects our heart health.
The Higher the HRV the Better
Our heart’s health is a great indicator of our physical fitness and performance. Moreover, HRV tells us how our bodies can handle stress.
Most of you know that cardio (cardiovascular exercise) is great for the heart but do you know why?
When we engage in intense physical exercise, such that our heart rates increase by a lot, we increase our HRV. The higher the HRV, the healthier we are and the better we can 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).
Some of the benefits of high HRV at rest include:
- decreased resting time
- increased performance
- better recovery and regeneration ability
- faster recovery after exertion
- decreased strain
How Does Cryotherapy Affect the Heart?
Several clinical studies have found that following a cryotherapy session, the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, resulting in an increased HRV. Studies reveal that the HRV at rest, after a cryotherapy session, is significantly higher.
The increased HRV from cryo is accompanied by another phenomenon called the vagus nerve stimulation which also helps the body and the mind to stay healthy and focused.
We are continuing to see more and more benefits from cryotherapy. With the increased use of HRV monitoring, we will be able to review the benefits of cryo as it increases our HRV at rest and provides us with improved performance, regeneration, recovery, less strain during activity, and better response to stress.
With only a 3-minute cryotherapy session, you can increase your HRV and see even more benefits.
So whether you are sedentary, active, injured, healthy, or simply need a healthier response to stress, an increased HRV can make a big impact on your health.
Book your next cryotherapy session, increase your HRV, and increase your wellness!