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Managing the health of the elite athlete – Ashley Stiven

For many athletes, coaches, clinicians and managers, the integrated and performance-focused approach to elite athlete health and coaching is still a difficult concept. Clinicians are focused on the medical ‘evidence’ and the physical health of the athlete and often want to have the ‘final say’ on these matters. They then tend to overlook the potential performance and psychological consequences when making decisions in isolation and when athlete preferences are excluded from the consultation. The reality check of a specific goal or ‘preference’ is demanded by the athlete–coach team and it might be argued that clinicians choosing to ignore this element only practise ‘safe medicine’. They might find it difficult to survive in the elite sport setting. Coaches and athletes are sometimes so performance focused that the health consequences of decisions in the heat of the moment are not taken into account.

It is therefore important to have a critical look at the organisation of medical support services to elite athletes, the process of decision-making in the elite sport environment and the best way to continuously manage athlete health. Athletes cannot do this in isolation and need the support of a well organised and integrated health and coaching team working in harmony towards common goals in a new Integrated Performance Health Management and Coaching model.

H Paul Dijkstra1, N Pollock2, R Chakraverty2, J M Alonso1,3 British Journal of Sports Med 2014

Embracing New Tech As an Entrepreneur

You probably already know that technology is very important in modern times. Businesses are utilizing technology to provide better service to customers in various ways. You need to embrace new technology as a business owner so that your company can thrive. Read on to learn about why new technology is so important to your business success. 

Failure to Adopt New Technology Can Spell the End

Some companies make the mistake of not adopting new technology and sticking to outdated ways of doing things. Progress moves forward and you can’t just stick with the old way of doing things if you want to keep up with your competition. Companies that don’t upgrade to new technology run the risk of becoming irrelevant over time. You don’t want your business to look like a relic and become something that can’t keep up with your competitors. 

Technology Can Give You a Competitive Edge

It’s also true that adopting new tech can give you a competitive edge that will lead to greater success. Larger companies have to take more time to adopt new tech and this can give you an advantage over them. It’s also going to allow you to connect with customers in different ways. Your business can stand out positively if you utilize tech to its full potential. 

Tech Can Help Your Business to Grow

Your business is something that needs to grow over time and growth comes easier when you use technology. Tech can make scaling your company a smooth experience and you should embrace new tech as soon as you can. If you aspire to make your company larger than it currently is, then you definitely need to utilize technology. There are so many ways that tech can be used to scale companies efficiently. 

Tech Can Make Your Life Easier

Have you ever wanted to be able to do certain things easier when it comes to running your business? Adopting new tech has the potential to make your life substantially easier. You can streamline various processes and save money while doing so. For many businesses, making use of new tech is going to put them in a much better position to achieve long-term goals. 

Embracing New Tech As an Entrepreneur

Leading Through Uncertain Times

Going through difficult times will be tough no matter what type of person you are. If you’re in a leadership position, then you have to find it within yourself to keep moving forward. If you’re facing uncertain times now and you’re trying to figure out how to lead to the best of your abilities, then keep reading. You’ll be able to get several tips about how you can lead people through even the most tumultuous times. 

Make Communication Your Priority

Communication needs to be taken very seriously if you’re going to have a hope of getting through uncertain times. You need to listen to the concerns of your people so that you can assuage their fears. It’s also necessary to get everyone on the same page and to give concise orders. Your communication skills can help you to get through this period if you’re using them properly. 

Be Ready to Act 

Tough times aren’t always going to give you advanced warning that they’re coming. This is why good leaders need to be ready to act quickly in the face of adversity. You can’t always wait around to make decisions when something unprecedented is occurring around you. The best leaders will have the ability to examine a situation fast and make the best decisions that they can to help their companies. 

Become Resilient

Resiliency is crucial when uncertain times are shaking things up at the workplace. You might suffer some financial issues and sometimes it can be tough to weather the storm. If you don’t keep getting back up, then you’re never going to achieve your goals or lead your people to success. You must be tough and you have to possess the will to keep going even when things look dire. 

Lead by Example

Leading by example might be the best thing that you can do to lead your people effectively. Tough times require leaders to inspire the people who are working with them. If you can shoulder your part of the load, then you’ll be able to inspire others to work hard just like you’re doing. Leaders who are prepared to get into the trenches and put in the hard work are much better at getting through uncertain times. 

Leading Through Uncertain Times

Training for a Marathon

So, you have started thinking about running a marathon and now you’re wondering how you can train for it. It’s a test, both emotionally and physically, and it’s something that can have immense positive ramifications in all facets of your life if you let it.

Running a marathon is no joke and you understand that this needs to be taken seriously if you want to finish it and do well. Read the advice below to learn how to train for a marathon. It should help you to find the success that you are looking for. 

Build Your Base Mileage Over Time

It’s not smart to try to start out running a long-distance if your body isn’t prepared for it. Building up your base mileage over time is the best way to go. Typically, they say that you should increase your base mileage 10% every week to do things safely. Some people might be able to push that number a bit higher, but the most important thing is to strive toward improving. 

Go out on runs at least three times per week. Some people run as much as five times per week when training for a marathon. Just do what you can while also recognizing your limits. 

Go on a Long Run Every Seven Days or So

Go on a long run every seven days or so. This is going to help your body to get used to running long distances. You can see these long runs as practice marathons and you’ll notice yourself getting better at these runs as you go deeper into your training. 

The Importance of Speed Work

Working on building up your speed over time is also incredibly important. Intervals and tempo runs can help you to get the speed that you’re looking for. Your cardiovascular conditioning will improve and you’ll be able to run faster for longer periods of time. This should lead to you being able to run a much more successful marathon if you take your training seriously. 

Rest and Recovery Are Also Important

The importance of rest and recovery should not be underestimated. You can’t simply train every single day and expect your body to be able to keep up with the demanding training schedule. Rest is important so that your body will stay healthy and your mental health is also a part of this process. It’s not going to be helpful if you feel burned out before the actual marathon even begins. 

Training for a Marathon

Training for Your First Ironman

The challenge of competing in an ironman isn’t something that everyone will be up to. Many people consider competing in an ironman, but they wind up backing out due to not having enough confidence. If your heart is set on competing, then it’s going to be crucial to train your heart out. Training is going to take 13 weeks and you’re going to need to give it your all. 

Weekend Workouts Are Crucial

Weekend workouts are going to be crucial when you’re training for your first ironman. Most people have to focus on weekend workouts because they need to work during the week. If you are retired or if you’re independently wealthy, then that’s a different story. However, an average individual is going to have to save a lot of the training for the weekends. 

These weekend training sessions will be very long and you’ll want to ramp up the training as it gets closer to the date for the ironman competition. Most of your weekend training sessions will involve several hours of cycling. Some of them will include multiple hours of swimming instead. You need to try to get as many training hours in as you can so using your time wisely is imperative. 

Proper Nutrition

Nutrition is important when you’re trying to get good results in your first ironman competition. When you’re working out for more than an hour, it’s going to be necessary to drink one bottle of water each hour. Also, you should be consuming somewhere around 200 calories each hour to give yourself the necessary energy to keep pushing forward. Failure to do this will lead to your body shutting down and this is not going to help your chances. 

Your body is going to become an efficient fat-burning machine because of your training. This will give you the ability to compete in a grueling race such as the ironman. It isn’t going to be easy even if you train perfectly and it takes a substantial amount of willpower. If you are ready to give it your all, then you should move forward with confidence and commit to putting in the training hours.

Training for Your First Ironman

What 2020 Taught Us About Business Leadership

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The past year has been challenging for business, to say the least. Fortunately, however, this year has also been an opportunity to learn and grow. Here are some of the key lessons that business leaders should take from 2020.

Problems come with opportunities.

The first lesson that business leaders should have learned from 2020 is that every challenge presents an opportunity. Businesses have been forced to pivot and think outside the box in order to survive the crisis. 

These challenges are forced all of us to put on our creative thinking caps and have clearly demonstrated the importance of innovation. If your company did not have an innovation pipeline going into 2020, you should have one by now. 

Remote work has many benefits.

This year has also shown us that there are many benefits to remote work. Our employees enjoy greater flexibility with their work, and they save commute times and money from transportation costs. These benefits create an environment where employees are more likely to be engaged, which leads to greater productivity and satisfaction. 

Perhaps, pre-pandemic, your company had never operated remotely. If you successfully made the transition from the office to remote work, you now know it’s possible. This knowledge can positively impact your company’s future, allowing you to increase flexibility with your employees even after the pandemic has ended. 

Money management is essential.

As a business professional, you’ve always known that money management is a crucial part of operating a company. However, 2020 has shown us just how vital it is to stretch every possible dollar in our organization’s budget. Where there was waste before, there is no more. To keep our businesses afloat, we have all found ways to improve our margins and cut unnecessary expenses.

Relationships trump everything else.

Lastly, as we’ve gone through a global health crisis together, we’ve all been forced to realize what’s really most important in our lives and businesses. The pandemic has shown us that what matters most is our relationships at the end of the day. From the relationships we have with our teams to the relationships we have with our clients, we should now clearly recognize that nothing matters more than people. 

This past year has been unprecedented for businesses. No one could have predicted the challenges that 2020 would bring, but fortunately, we can all learn from these many difficulties and become stronger and wiser as a result. 

What 2020 Taught Us About Business Leadership

Networking During the Pandemic

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While COVID-19 has forced us to see each other less in 2020, we have all found new ways to connect. Networking is essential for business professionals, and you shouldn’t give up on it, even if all your regular networking events have been canceled. Here are some tips for how to continue networking throughout the course of the pandemic.

Utilize the power of social media

Social media is the perfect tool to help you stay connected with business professionals in your industry. It also allows you to build new business relationships. Keep your profiles up to date and post valuable content frequently. Send authentic messages to check in on colleagues and to make new connections. Schedule in this targeted time on social media every single day.

Use an ice-breaker

Sending messages to peers on social media can feel uncomfortable. Ice-breakers can help make this process feel more natural. Since the pandemic is something that we all have in common, this situation provides you an easy way to connect with others. Ask them how they’re faring through the crisis, as well as how their business is doing. Don’t over-complicate the process. Instead, just practice being kind and showing genuine interest in others.

Use video conferencing

Since the first shutdown in March, video conferencing has become a staple in our lives and businesses. Everyone, even those who previously avoided all technology, has become accustomed to Zoom-style meetings. In light of this, don’t be afraid to use video conferencing to catch up will colleagues or build relationships with peers. 

Attend virtual networking events

Since large in-person events are currently on hold, try to attend a few virtual networking events. A simple Google search should connect with dozens of events. One of the bright sides of this new virtual environment is the opportunity to connect with people from all over the globe, rather than only the ones who are local to us. 

Ask for help (and offer it to others)

One effective way to network with other professionals is to ask for help from people you respect and admire. People love to be useful and appreciate the respect you offer them by requesting their advice. Likewise, be willing to extend help to others. For example, if you discover an effective way to team-build virtually, be willing to share your ideas with your business allies.

The pandemic has changed the way we network, but it doesn’t have to stop us from connecting. This crisis has taught us that we can stay in touch with one another and even form new relationships, despite not meeting face-to-face. We have plenty of tools available to keep us connected throughout the pandemic, so it’s up to us to make the most of them.

Networking During the Pandemic

Why You Should Keep Up Your Workouts During the Pandemic

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Situations like this can make it difficult to continue with your regular routines, even the ones that are good for you. Here are some reasons that you should continue to exercise, even as the pandemic rages on.

Keep Yourself Healthy and Prevent Weight Gain

Due to shutdowns and social distancing measures, more of us have been staying home than ever before. In many cases, we have lost access to our gyms or health clubs. However, in order to keep ourselves in shape and prevent weight gain, we should not give up exercise, even during this challenging time. 

If you’re accustomed to going to a gym, you may need to get creative with your workouts. Go for a run or try some home-based exercises. You could also invest in some workout equipment, such as a bench, weights, or treadmill. 

Reduce Stress

One important reason to exercise during the pandemic is to reduce stress. We can all agree that 2020 has been a stressful year, and it continues to be as the pandemic shows no end in sight. To reduce your stress levels, improve mental health, and avoid burnout, make sure you’re exercising for at least 30 minutes, five days each week. 

To keep your routine interesting, try switching up your workouts a few times each week. If you’re doing mostly home-based routines, try stepping outside and going for a run. You could also try hiking a local trail or tuning in to a virtual fitness class.

Exercise Supports Healthy Immunity

Another reason to maintain an exercise routine through the COVID-19 era is that exercise supports healthy immunity. Exercise improves our cells’ functions and helps them to perform more effectively. It also reduces inflammation, increases blood flow, and can strengthen antibodies, which are our bodies’ natural defense against viruses. 

By exercising regularly, you reduce your likelihood of contracting a virus. You also support your body’s ability to fight illness, which will become vital if you contract COVID-19. So, getting your workouts in now while you are healthy will help you later if you end up getting sick.

In conclusion, there are many reasons to maintain an exercise routine during this difficult time. Exercise will keep you healthier, both physically and mentally. It will also reduce your stress levels and give you something positive to focus on, despite the challenges around you. Be proactive in your approach to battling the pandemic and take care of yourself throughout this time.

Why You Should Keep Up Your Workouts During the Pandemic

Tips for Starting a Morning Workout Routine

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Working out first thing in the morning has several benefits. Morning exercise starts your day off in a healthy way and can lead to improved mental health and greater productivity throughout the rest of your day. It also ensures that you get your workouts in each day before you get too busy. 

If you aren’t accustomed to morning workouts, it can take some time to develop the habit. Once you’ve started and formed the habit, soon you won’t even need to think about it. Here are some tips to help you start a new morning workout routine.

1. Prepare the Night Before

If you’re determined to start a morning workout routine, start by setting yourself up for success the night before. Plan what workout you will do and set out your clothes, so you don’t have to make any decisions in the morning. The more convenient you make your morning exercise, the less likely you will be to talk yourself out of it when you wake up.

2. Give Yourself Extra Time 

When planning out your morning workout routine, remember to give yourself extra time. If you plan to do a 45-minute workout, wake up at least an hour earlier than you normally would. The extra time will account for accidental snoozing, and allow you time to finish your workout without rushing through it. 

3. Plan to Overcome Tiredness

Many people set their minds to exercising in the morning, only to talk themselves out of it when they wake up feeling tired. To combat this, you need to plan ahead. Resolve to get out of bed no matter what. Set your alarm clock across the room to force yourself out of bed if you need to. Once you’re out of bed, brush your teeth before you can think about it. You can also set a glass of water beside your bed to drink first thing in the morning, which is usually enough to get you moving. 

4. Get an Accountability Partner

Lastly, to ensure success with your new routine, find yourself an accountability partner. You are much more likely to get yourself out of bed in the morning — regardless of how you feel — if you have someone to be accountable to. Your accountability partner can be a buddy that you meet for a run or to hit the gym. You could also lock arms with an online buddy or group that you can check in with virtually. It doesn’t matter what form your accountability takes, just make sure you have some!

Working out in the morning can be challenging at first, but it’s a habit worth working toward! Set your mind to it and you will soon find that it gets much easier.

Tips for Starting a Morning Workout Routine

What is Best for your Business: Chatbots vs. Virtual Agents?

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When you run a business, you want to automate various processes, such as the way your customers and lead communicate with your company. After doing considerable amounts of research, you discover there are two viable solutions – deploy a chatbot or a virtual agent.

However, as both these terminologies sound the same, you don’t know which one to pick. Is one better than the other in various types of business operations or do they perform the same functions? With this guide, you will be able to make the right decision for your company. 

Chatbot vs Virtual Agent – What’s the difference?

Chatbots are tools which use artificial intelligence and machine learning to complete specific tasks. The most common example of this type of technology is when you visit a website. A bot will ask you why you are on this site and how it can help you navigate and obtain the necessary information. Several businesses use them for simple tasks, such as engaging with consumers and directing them towards marketing and sales.

On the other hand, virtual agents are quite different despite similar technologies. However, they are more advanced when compared to chatbots and can perform a variety of tasks regardless of the complexity.

Which one should you choose?

The biggest question is to know which one to choose so your company benefits immensely. Regardless of whether you opt for a virtual agent or a chatbot, there will be an improvement in productivity

You should use chatbots if you need a tool to perform repetitive tasks, such as answering simple customer queries. While virtual agents can do the same, you have the option of using them for a large number of activities. For example, they can manage the identity of all the employees, ensuring the process takes only a couple of minutes.

At the end of the day, the one you choose should fulfill your requirements. So make sure you evaluate the needs of your company, before making a decision.

The post What is Best for your Business: Chatbots vs. Virtual Agents? first appeared on Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship.

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The Benefits of Balance Training

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No matter what you want to achieve in life, good balance is a perquisite for being able to achieve it. In fact, it’s such a basic first step that it can be easy to take for granted. That said, all it takes is a bit of wobbling around or a lack of centeredness to find out just how important good balance is to your daily life. Whatever your day to day job and goals may be, they will be near impossible to achieve if you’re stuck with the kind of bad balance typically reserved for dizzy drunken evenings out.

That’s hardly how you want to present yourself to the world. Thankfully, balance training can help you keep your balance and carry on with calming, core-strengthening exercises. 

Easy to Follow

One of the great benefits of balance training is the fact that it’s incredibly easy to follow. These exercises can include everything from something as simple as standing on one foot to intense yoga poses. You can customize your routine to suit your particular needs.

Free to Do

Another big benefit? This type of training doesn’t cost a penny. Where other programs out there require gym memberships or weights or expensive equipment, with these exercises, as long as you can stretch and balance your body, you’re good to go.

Diverse Effects

In addition, balance training can provide benefits for many different parts of your body, including your core, legs, arms, and glutes. What’s more, because of its great adaptability, balance training can be molded to suit any number of different workout regimens.

Low Intensity Training

If you are recovering from injury, are pregnant, or otherwise have certain conditions that prevent you from more intense exercise regimens, balance training can be a great way to get a bit of exercise in without straining your body too much. What’s more, the flexibility of these programs allows you to easily suit them to your needs.

These factors all make balance training one of the great unsung training regimens out there, and it’s one you can start today.

The post The Benefits of Balance Training first appeared on Ashley Stiven | Healthcare.

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