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HRV and Air Travel

 Hi there.  I travel quite a bit for work.  I have noticed a pattern where my HRV drops the day after I fly (sometimes by 12 points) and it takes a few days to recover.  The more I travel, the lower my HRV stays.  My training is still okay, but I wonder if there's something I can do to aid post-travel recovery.  Any thoughts? 

Jill, my HRV responds the same way after traveling.  It made me realize how flying and changing time zones stresses and affects the body.

In the Training Guide, Joel outlines recovery strategies for when your HRV is out of range high or low.  I imagine you have checked it out, but it's good to reread that section every now and then to get some recovery ideas.

I work with Joel and I am surrounded by HRV and still find myself rereading the Training Guide as there is so much information that can be easily looked over.  

I do know that if you HRV is low you want to eliminate any stressors.  A good strategy is to cut back on any stimulants that you may be taking, caffeine, etc.  Hot water baths are good as well as therapeutic massage (no deep tissue in this case).  We also have many people who show improve recovery practicing daily meditation. 

I hope this give you some ideas to help with your post travel recovery.  If you find a strategy that works for you, please share it on the forums. Have a good day. 

Thanks for your response Howie.  I will definitely re-read the section of the Training Guide you suggested.  It's so interesting ... the only thing that really impacts my HRV significantly is air travel.  Even a short flight (1 hour) saw me dropping by 11 points!  I will work on playing around with less caffeine to see if it impacts it at all.  A hot bath is also an excellent idea! 

I actually meditate 2x per day.  Lord knows what my HRV would look like if I didn't do that!  ;-) 

You're welcome.  It really is amazing how we differ on an individual basis.  Some people handle flying well, while it takes a lot out of others.  That's why it's so important to understand how we respond to our own training, diet, travel, sleep etc. Individualization is so important for long term progress. 

Keep me posted!


In a 6-month period late last year I flew 6 times. After I got home from each and every flight I was sick. Once I ended up at the hospital with pneumonia. I am new to HRV training and am looking forward to seeing how my next trip affects my numbers. Are there any recommendations for "protecting oneself" from travel illnesses so my training doesn't continue to be thrown off track?
Debra,  my best suggestion would be to make sure you are going into your trip with a high readiness.  If you are run down going into the trip, it doesn't mean you will or won't get sick but we all know what happens when we are exposed to hundreds of people in confined spaces breathing the same recycled air.  Man, just saying that makes me not want to travel!!

I say, do the best you can the week leading up to your trip, trying to have that high readiness.  The hardest part will be eating how you'd like to eat, exercise and rest while you are away from home.  This can wear you out as well. 

I'll be curious to see how it goes.  Keep us posted!


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