Understanding the Invisible Link: Heart Rate Variability and Modern Health Issues

Modern diseases and symptoms like fatigue, long COVID, and brain fog often elude traditional lab and radiological tests. However, these conditions can be discerned through heart rate variability (HRV).

“The immune system and our body listen to the breath,” says Dr. Faero. “If we are breathing fast, it signals stress. By slowing down our breath, we can trick our body into a state of calm, promoting recovery and relaxation.”

Meet Dr. Torkil Faero: A Pioneer in Integrative Health

Dr. Faero’s illustrious career spans over 25 years, during which he has worked in diverse environments, including war-torn Angola with Doctors Without Borders. His unique experiences have shaped his understanding of how lifestyle stresses impact our health. As an award-winning photographer, author, and documentary filmmaker, he merges his medical expertise with creative endeavors, offering a holistic perspective on health and wellness.

The Pulse Cure: A Revolutionary Approach to Health Monitoring

Dr. Faero’s book, “The Pulse Cure,” is a groundbreaking guide on utilizing HRV to monitor and improve health. Unlike traditional methods, HRV provides a dynamic measure of both mental and physiological stress, making it a powerful tool for managing modern health challenges.

“Our senses are evolutionarily tuned to external stimuli,” Dr. Faero explains. “But our internal state, particularly stress, is what makes us sick today. HRV acts as a surrogate for this underdeveloped sense, helping us identify and manage stress more effectively.”

Choosing the Right Device: The Power of Garmin Watches

Dr. Faero highlights the Garmin watches as his preferred HRV tracking device, citing their integration with Firstbeat Analytics, a leader in physiological measurement. These devices offer superior insights through advanced algorithms, setting them apart from competitors like Apple Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Ring.

Practical Applications: Harnessing Heart Rate Variability for Better Health

HRV is a versatile tool, reflecting the impacts of various lifestyle choices. From intermittent fasting to cold exposure, the effects of healthy practices are immediately visible through HRV tracking. “Seeing the immediate benefits of fasting or cold showers on my HRV is incredibly motivating,” Dr. Faero shares. “It validates the effort and discomfort.”

Real-World Insights: ER Observations and Chronic Disease

Dr. Faero’s observations in the emergency room reveal a common thread: lifestyle-induced stress and inflammation are at the root of many chronic diseases. “Most of the patients I see wouldn’t need to be here if not for compromised immune systems due to poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep,” he notes.

The Critical Role of Recovery in Fitness

Exercise is essential, but overtraining can be detrimental. Dr. Faero emphasizes the importance of balancing exercise intensity with recovery. “Too much training causes inflammation, similar to eating junk food,” he warns. “It’s crucial to allow your body to recover and build strength.”

Tailored Training: The Impact of Heart Rate Variability on Exercise

Using HRV data, individuals can tailor their workouts to their bodies’ needs. “If you have a busy life, intense exercise may be counterproductive,” Dr. Faero advises. “Adjust your training based on your HRV to prevent overexertion and enhance fitness.”

Special Considerations: HRV and Women’s Health

Dr. Faero highlights the significant impact of menstrual cycles on HRV, likening the physiological load to that of a COVID infection. “Women should adjust their workouts during the week before menstruation to accommodate this stress,” he suggests. “Lighter exercises and stretching can help maintain balance and improve fitness.”

Discover Your Ideal HRV: Personalized Health Management

Identifying your ideal HRV involves regular monitoring and understanding the factors that influence it. “My optimal HRV is around 50, but it fluctuates based on my stress levels and activities,” Dr. Faero explains. “Tracking these variations helps me manage my health more effectively.”


Heart Rate Variability is a powerful, underutilized tool in modern health management. Dr. Torkil Faero’s insights and practical guidance offer a new perspective on achieving optimal health through HRV tracking. By understanding and managing our stressors, we can unlock a healthier, more balanced life.

New Episode Every Thursday

Our YouTube Channel