Ep21: Using HRV to Reduce Stress (and Master Your Nervous System) | with Ronda Collier


HRV, or “Heart Rate Variability” is a term you might not be familiar with. It’s a biological measurement you should absolutely know just as you would your weight, your cholesterol, or you blood pressure. Simply put, HRV is the measurement of time between your heartbeats. While this sounds relatively simple, what is so profound about this measurement is how it can help you measure the strength of your nervous system, and more importantly how knowing it can help you predict your physical and mental performance based on a simple 5 minute measurement in the morning.

In this episode I have an in-depth conversation with Ronda Collier, the CEO at SweetWater Health, LLC about what HRV is, how to measure it, and most importantly how to interpret these measurements to make improvements in your ability to manage stress and anxiety. This is one of my favorite episodes from very early in the ‘Fitness In Post’ podcast days, and I thought it beneficial to re-release it in advance of my next podcast which is all about Qualia from a company called the Neurohacker Collective, a new supplement that is as close to the Limitless drug as you’re going to get. In that episode coming later this week we talk about heart rate variability, and because it’s such an intriguing topic I wanted to make sure this episode was readily available to help you understand why HRV is something you should prioritize measuring every single day if you’re interested in optimizing your creative performance.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • What is Heart Rate Variability
  • How knowing your HRV can help you predict your physical performance
  • Ronda’s beginnings working tech in post houses
  • Recognizing when your body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode
  • HRV should be equal in importance to your weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol
  • Ways learning about HRV can enable you to combat stress
  • Learn how to easily measure your HRV
  • Knowing the difference between acting and responding
  • Creating a conscious response to your HRV drops with the Sweet Beat App

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Support the Podcast & Win!

Ben Greenfield Fitness NatureBeat App

Ep 27: The Sitting Solution

Bulletproof Radio “Hacking Stress with HRV Sense”

Ben Greenfield “Everything You Need to Know About HRV”

Ben Greenfield Fitness

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger,  a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.

Guest Bio:

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Ronda Collier, B.S.E.E., M.A. Psychology, is the CEO of SweetWater Health and has more than 25 years of experience in high technology product development with a proven track record of delivering leading edge consumer electronic products within both privately held startups and Fortune 500 corporations. She has spent the last 3 years as an independent scholar researching non-invasive health monitoring techniques to improve overall personal well being. This research led to the founding of SweetWater Health, L.L.C. in 2010.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?