New Guided Recovery Sessions

New: Guided Recovery Sessions

We’re excited to share our latest update: “Guided Recovery Sessions”! We’ve designed these sessions to navigate you through the process of achieving your desired state while elevating your Mindset Recovery experience. These instructor led sessions will walk you through a complete mindfulness experience with sessions designed for pre-workout priming, relaxation, focus, and stress relief.

We’ve released four initial sessions to our guided library which are featured in our new ‘Guided Recovery Session’ category:

*Please access these links via your mobile phone to be taken to the sessions.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please continue to let us know your feedback at feedback.rewirefitness.app!

If you haven’t already signed up to Rewire, you can experience one of our audio only recovery sessions here:

Mindset for Performance

How to Achieve the Right Mindset for Performance

What separates elite athletes from the rest? What helps them constantly succeed? What do they do differently?

It all comes down to mindset.

While all of those competing at a professional level are talented, it is those with the right mindset who succeed.

Here are a few of our top tips for achieving the right mindset for athletic performance: 

  1. Establish a Growth Mindset:
    • Throw away the belief that your abilities are fixed or that any athletic talent is innate. Instead, embrace a growth mindset that you are capable of improving and reaching higher levels of athletic performance through continuous effort, discipline and learning. You can read more about the Growth Mindset Here.
  2. Positive Self-Talk:
    • Positive self-talk can improve your performance mindset by reducing stress, anxiety and any negative thought patterns. This technique allows you to become more relaxed, focused and concentrated.
    • Try Rewire’s Pre-Workout Primer sessions, which includes self-talk mantras, to improve your mindset before your next intense training session. 
  3. Visualize The Process of Achieving Your Goals:
    • Believe it or not, mentally visualizing the image of what you want to happen or feel can enhance your sport performance in real life. Think of one of your main goals right now and try to spend some time visualizing the full scenario of how you will achieve it. You can also mentally rehearse certain skills so that you’re able to build both experience and confidence in your ability to perform them under pressure or in various scenarios. 
    • Before your next competition, try one of our Competition Mindset Prep sessions, including visualization cues amongst other mindfulness protocols.
  4. Build Mental Resilience:
    • By training mental resilience, athletes are able to push beyond their perceived limits of performance. Rewire’s Neuro-Training protocols work to reduce perception of effort; increase tolerance to mental fatigue; and allows you to reach a new level of performance. Like training our muscles, the more we train our mental resilience, the more resilient we become.
    • Make sure to keep up with your weekly Neuro-Training goals and tap here to complete a Neuro-Training session now!

Achieving the right mindset for performance can be difficult, so let Rewire help guide you on the way! The right attitude can boost your performance and unlock your ultimate potential.

Before your next workout, try one of our Pre-Workout Priming Sessions, such as ‘Step-Up‘ which features Step-Up beathing, Self-Talk and Subliminal Priming and is designed to optimize your mind and body for performance.

Rewire Fitness Integrates with Strava

We are pleased to share that we have just completed an update to our integration with Strava allowing you to automatically sync your training load from Strava to our Readiness Assessment; receive post-workout recommendations to help optimize your training and recovery; and more!

In this post, I’ll explain the benefits of connecting Rewire to Strava and how Rewire can help you get the most out of your workouts. But first, what’s Rewire? Rewire is a human performance app that provides evidence-based solutions for tracking athlete readiness, building mental resilience, and improving mind/body recovery. Strava is a social network for athletes which allows athletes to track and share their workout data.

Why Rewire + Strava?

Connecting your Strava account allows Rewire to analyze your workout data, providing a seamless way to measure your current training load. Rewire will also give you post-workout recommendations tailored to your readiness state, either adding mental load through Neuro-Training if you are in an excellent cognitive state or providing you with a Mindset Recovery session designed to optimize mind and body recovery.

Connecting Rewire to Strava also lets you share Neuro-Training workouts and Mindset Recovery sessions that you complete in the app with your followers on Strava, meaning they can see all the hard work you are putting in to train both your mind and body.

Strava has an extensive list of integrations that support many of the devices and apps you are already using to track your workouts. This means that Rewire will be able to get your workout data from a device supported through Strava. If you’d rather not post publicly on Strava – you can always set your privacy settings to ‘Only You’ in the Strava app.

Features

Auto-Sync Training Load from Strava

Once you connect Strava, we’ll automatically sync yesterday’s workouts from Strava to pre-fill your training load in our Readiness Assessment. Duration is based on the length of your workouts and intensity is calculated using your heart rate or power data. You can still adjust duration or intensity if you need. Training load forms just one part of our Readiness Assessment, which takes a holistic approach across cognitive, emotional and physical domains to provide you with actionable readiness insights and recommendations.

Post-Workout Recommendations

After finishing a Strava workout, open up the Rewire app for a post-workout recommendation. Based on your data we will recommend a relevant post-workout Mindset Recovery session, featuring a range of recovery protocols including guided breathing, binaural beats and subliminal priming which have been tailored to your readiness state. If you are in an excellent cognitive state we will recommend a post-workout Neuro-Training workout designed to build your mental resilience. 

Share Your Rewire Workouts on Strava

We’ve also improved the way we post Rewire sessions to Strava allowing you to now share Mindset Recovery sessions as well as Neuro-Training workouts. You can select which sessions you’d like to post as well as whether you’d like to share notes by going to Settings -> Configure Third-Party Integrations -> Strava.

Workouts in History Log

You’ll also be able to see all your Strava workouts alongside your Rewire Neuro-Training and Mindset Recovery session in our history log.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re not already a Rewire member, sign up for our free 7 day trial here!

If you are already a member (or once you’ve signed up!), please head to Rewire App->Settings->Configure Third-Party Integrations->Strava and tap connect with Strava.

Please note that if you are an existing Android user you will have to reconnect Strava by following the above steps and tapping Connect to Strava again.


You asked, we listened!

We’re always speaking with our users to learn what new features they want from Rewire! If you have any suggestions or want to vote and add feedback on features currently planned or under consideration, please visit our feedback portal.


What our Beta Users are saying:

Having the Strava integration has been great! Pulling workout duration and intensity and pushing Neuro-Training to Strava has been a game changer.

David Lipman, Beta User and Runner

Mindset Recovery Streaks and Recovery Minutes Tracking

In version 1.1, we released an update to our Mindset Recovery system, allowing you to track weekly Mindset Recovery minutes and build a recovery streak to help you on your journey to becoming a more mindful athlete!

To update, just head to the App Store/Google Play Store and make sure you are on the latest version (1.1 or above).

Mindset Recovery Minutes Tracking

You can now set a weekly Mindset Recovery goal by going to Settings-> Mindset Recovery Preferences-> Weekly Mindset Recovery Goal. If you are just getting started with mindfulness, we recommend starting small with a target you will be able to achieve and gradually increasing that goal as you develop a routine around Mindset Recovery.

Do you use Apple Health? If so, simply connect Apple Health to Rewire (Settings -> Configure Third-Party Integrations) to write your mindful minutes completed in Rewire to Apple Health!

Recovery Streaks

Recovery streaks are a count of how many days you have completed a Mindset Recovery session in a row. All you have to do is complete a Mindset Recovery session daily to keep your streak going. Don’t worry – we’ll remind you if you are close to losing your streak. We’re excited to see how high yours can get!


We’d love to hear how you are finding Rewire and what we can improve! If you have any suggestions or want to vote and add feedback on features currently planned or under consideration, please visit our feedback portal.

How Deep Breathing Can Improve Your Performance

In this blog we explore how deep breathing can influence different pathways both at the physiological and psychological levels, potentially leading to improved athletic performance. 

Needless to say, life can be demanding, from both a physical and psychological point of view. While we need stress to grow, and stressing the body (and the following adaptation) is what training is about, our health and performance can be affected by how we are able to effectively cope with stressful situations. Additionally, during key sessions or competitions, psychological stressors and anxiety, or in broader terms, our ability to emotionally self-regulate, can be very important determinants of performance outcomes. 

How does deep breathing play a role?

From a physiological point of view, we can consider homeostasis as a starting point to understand the rationale behind using deep breathing for performance enhancement. As the body via the autonomic nervous system (ANS) responds to stressful stimuli in an attempt to maintain a state of balance, we can determine how effective this physiological self-regulation process is, by measuring the ANS. This is something Rewire does by measuring HRV, and in particular parasympathetic activity using an HRV feature called rMSSD. The parasympathetic branch of the ANS is characterized by inhibitory responses and restorative processes, such as lowering heart rate and breathing rate, so that the system can go back to homeostasis after facing a stressor. For these reasons, in the past fifty years, a vast body of research investigated the link between HRV and various mental and physical stressors, showing consistently reductions in parasympathetic activity when facing physical and psychological stressors. Additionally, reduced parasympathetic activity has been associated with various clinical conditions (e.g. depression and anxiety disorders) as well as higher mortality risk.

Here is where deep breathing comes into play. Breathing at low frequencies (or deep breathing) causes large oscillations in the instantaneous heart rate, which synchronize with breathing rate. The influence of breathing on heart rate is called Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA) and is mostly modulated by the parasympathetic branch of the ANS. Hence, deep breathing can result in training of the parasympathetic system, which might explain at least part of the positive effects of these techniques in the context of reducing stress and anxiety. For the same reasons, deep breathing could help athletes, with the potential of improving emotional self-regulation, coping mechanisms, and performance. In the Rewire app, following a Mindset Recovery session, if you have connected a Heart Rate Monitor you will see the percentage change in HRV during the deep breathing session, which can help you quantify the increased level of parasympathetic activity due to this specific exercise. 

Example of the change in instantaneous heart rate and HRV when deep breathing. We can see how large oscillations take place, with increased heart rate during the inhale, and decreased heart rate during the exhale. Normally, the exhale is when parasympathetic activity has higher influence, and should therefore be at least as long as the inhale

What Happens When We Face a Stressor?

Upon facing a stressor, the ANS responds via two pathways mainly. First, we have an activation of the sympathetic nervous system which is directly innervating most organs. Secondly, we have hormonal responses through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which results in cortisol release. Depending on an individual’s ability to cope with a stressor, these responses can last longer and have a stronger negative effect on an individual’s physiology. As a result, stressors such as negative life events and intense physical training can lead to negative physiological responses such as stress hormone perturbation, immunosuppression, and impaired skeletal muscle repair. All of these aspects can act as mediators for negative outcomes, resulting in reduced health and performance.

While we all experience stress in life, athletes are typically exposed to both “life stressors” and the high intensity and high volume training typical of (elite) sports. Literature has shown how athletes that reported being more stressed had a long-lasting negative response including increased cortisol level for several hours after exercise, with respect to athletes that did not report high levels of life stress. These are key findings as they highlight how many negative stress responses can have implications beyond what we normally think. When using HRV to quantify physiological stress, an association has been reported between the activity of the parasympathetic branch of the ANS and improved emotional self-regulation and performance in mental tasks, further motivating the use of different techniques – such as deep breathing – to improve parasympathetic activity. 

Breathe

Given the physiological and psychological factors just discussed, deep breathing becomes  an ideal strategy to help us self-regulate and better cope with stressful situations. Techniques such as HRV biofeedback, mindfulness, meditation or other forms of deep breathing, can directly affect ANS activity by stimulating the parasympathetic system. Therefore, deep breathing might directly provide a positive impact on the physiological and psychological factors that mediate health and performance. To allow you to achieve this performance benefit, Rewire integrates a range of deep breathing protocols (including box breathing, pranayama, 4-7-8, 5-10 and more) into its Mindset Recovery system alongside a variety of other recovery protocols like subliminal priming, self-talk, visualization and binaural beats.

To date, the scientific literature on deep breathing has shown positive outcomes on a variety of applications outside of sports, from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to depression, cardiac rehabilitation, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers in the field are exploring different pathways that might explain the benefits of deep breathing techniques. In particular, some are suggesting that the high variations in the instantaneous heart rate are due to the baroreflex and that practicing deep breathing could indeed increase baroreflex gain, which might be a causal pathway explaining why hypertensive disorders can also improve using deep breathing techniques. Others have suggested a potential pathway between the baroreflex and neural control, in particular the amygdala, which could explain why improvements are seen in patients with anxiety and depression. Finally, another pathway could involve a strengthening of the parasympathetic nervous system, as shown using electrical vagal stimulation in the context of treating depression.

Psychological and Physiological Outcomes

In elite sport settings, performance is often the outcome of interest. However, in many sports (e.g. in teams settings), performance cannot be unambiguously measured, and is often estimated using different approaches. For example, in many situations, athletic performance is measured during isolated tasks (e.g. sprinting ability), which might have low fidelity with respect to the complexity of an actual game. On the other hand, it follows from the previous considerations that physiological and psychological parameters might be mediating the relation between deep breathing practice and performance.

In particular, psychological measures following deep breathing interventions are probably the most consistent in terms of positive outcomes. In particular, the various studies investigating effects on anxiety (both trait and state) as well as on self-esteem and self-efficacy, often found improvements in most measures. In terms of physiological measures, results are also quite consistent across studies. However, an important caveat here needs to be considered. While there is plenty of data and published literature on the acute effect of deep breathing on HRV (basically the difference between resting conditions and practice), we know much less about long-term effects and the potential impact of these techniques on physiology when sustaining the practice for prolonged time (e.g. several months). These are difficult questions to answer due to the many factors impacting day to day ANS activity, as well as long term changes due to e.g. seasonality. The relationship between acute changes in HRV, baseline changes in HRV, and psychological measures following an intervention therefore requires further investigation.

Wrap Up

Combining insights from biopsychosocial models and basic physiology, we can see how various forms of deep breathing have been proposed as techniques that can help athletes to improve emotional self-regulation and coping mechanisms via a strengthening of homeostasis, with the potential of resulting in better health and performance.

The ability to effectively self-regulate emotions and stress can be beneficial. In particular, apart from the potential for direct improvements in health and performance, other pathways could be positively impacted, from a psychological (e.g. anxiety) and physiological (e.g. hormonal response, strengthening of the parasympathetic system) point of view. Such changes in psychological and physiological factors could then affect other health and performance-related outcomes such as injury risk and recovery.

Based on the available evidence, deep breathing can be considered an effective tool to reduce anxiety as well as acutely improve HRV, and therefore can be considered valuable in the context of emotional self-regulation for athletes.


If you are a Rewire Member (and reading this on your phone), tap here to try one of our deep breathing sessions.

If you are not yet a Rewire Member, sign up for a 7-day free trial today!