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Biohacking: Resting Heart Rate as a Health Indicator

Dublin based Quantified Selfer Justin Lawler has a post that sums up how to monitor your health by tracking resting heart rate (RHR). Many modern wearables support RHR tracking including Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone and Apple Watch. I couldn’t agree more with his findings as I was able to track down three three food sensitivities, optimal sleep duration and be alerted to when I was being excessive with exercise.

Why track RHR:

  • Better — it’s a more accurate picture of health than weight
  • Easier — the latest wearable tracker apps are simple to use and understand. They show history. They’re with us all the time.
  • Faster — Resting heart rate we can see changes in health within 24 hours. Weight gain can take weeks. Doctor’s appointments can take months before the next check-up.

What we can do to lower our resting heart rate

  • Stress management — easier said than done, but there are meditation apps, great books and tools we can use. Blog post to follow on this.
  • Alcohol — any reduction at all helps.
  • Diet — anti-inflammatory diets. Links below for suggestions on diet plans.
  • Exercise — low level every day (take the stairs, talk 10’000 steps). Higher levels 1–2 times a week. The acute stresses from high intensity workouts increase heart health over the long term. Mark Sisson covers this really well — see links below.
  • Supplements — Omega3 oils can help improving heart health and reducing inflammation. Magnesium is crucial for heart health, and most of us don’t get nearly enough. Curcumin (extract from turmeric) helps with reducing inflammation.
  • Heat therapy — saunas and ice baths.


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