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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

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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How to Follow-up on Sales Leads

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Following up on your sales leads is one of the many ways you can use to increase your revenue. What you do in this stage will determine whether they become your customers or not. As a business, you need to find ways to reach out to them without being annoying or pushy. Given below are three techniques you can use to follow up on your sales leads:

Personalize communication

When sales leads opens up the messages you send, they should feel like they are having a personal conversation with your business. It is essential for your company to establish an emotional connection, which increases the chances of converting them into customers. 

Take time to understand the users you are targeting so that you can customize the communication. For instance, by observing which pages they visit on your website, you can send relevant information. Also, don’t focus only on selling, which can be a turn-off to the users. Instead, have a conversation so that you gain a deeper understanding of them.

Provide new and valuable information

You should avoid making just sales pitches to convert the leads into customers. This doesn’t always work. It is essential that you earn the trust of these prospects so that they are more likely to do business with you in the future.

Identify the various pain points of the sales leads and give them appropriate solutions that your products or services can provide.

Respond quickly 

Due to significant strides in technology, consumers expect businesses to respond to their queries as soon as possible. The longer they have to wait, the higher the chances of them going to the competitors for help.

As a business, you never want to drive away your sales leads. Every time a consumer drops a message, you should make it a point to reply as soon as possible. You can make use of automation tools that help with this process, the moment the prospect becomes a lead.

Use these three techniques shown above to follow-up on your sales leads like a champion!

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Four Tips to Improve Your Health at Work

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One of the great paradoxes of modern life is that while the quality of life has, on aggregate, improved across the globe, we find ourselves at risk for all manner of health issues due to our lifestyles. How can this be so? There are many culprits to blame for this decline in the health and lifestyle of the American worker in particular, from poor diet to not enough opportunities for exercise to jobs which increasingly require more desk and computer time and less physical activity.

Those points aren’t in dispute.

The real question is, what are we going to do about it?

Thankfully, these four tips can help you improve your health while at work.

Watch What You Nosh

More workers are eschewing full-blown lunch hours in favor of snacking throughout the day. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, if the items on which you’re noshing are M&Ms, jelly beans, jerky, and similar snack foods, you’re not doing your health any favors.

Drink Water

Instead of that soda, try drinking water during your working hours. Ideally, you should be having several glasses of water per day.

Work Gyms

More workplaces are responding to these dips in worker health by installing workplace gyms. If your place of work has this, take advantage of them. Not only can they be a great way to get some exercise in, but they’re a great workplace networking opportunity as well.

Short Bursts of Exercise

Even if you don’t have time to work in a full exercise regimen, doing a little here and there can have a big impact on your health. For example, while you may not have a full hour or two to spend working out at a time, taking 5 to 10 minutes here and there to take a short walk every hour or two can add up to that elusive hour’s worth of light workout time. In addition, fitting in some time for light stretching in your office can be time-effective, as well as rejuvenating.

Doing a little bit here and there can help you establish a healthier lifestyle at work.

from Ashley Stiven | Healthcare https://ashleystiven.com/four-tips-to-improve-your-health-at-work/
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How to Get the Most Out of Online Marketing

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In the digital world, marketing is everything and comes with countless benefits. You can keep track of adverts performance, make changes in real-time, and reach out to a global audience, to name a few.

It can help you get prospects and convert them into customers who love everything you have to offer. However, several businesses find it a challenging task to make the most out of their online marketing efforts. 

As you are utilizing your resources, you want to make sure you maximize the Return on Investment (ROI). Given below are a handful of tips which will help reach improve the performance of your online marketing efforts:

Always dig deeper when analyzing the performance of advertisements

It is common practice for businesses to evaluate the performance of their digital advertisements to identify the shortcomings. While this is an excellent technique, you should go more in-depth to gain a better understanding of why your advertisements are not performing well.

For instance, if an advert isn’t clicking with your audience, the first thing you will do is take a look at the messaging. Rather than following this train of thought, see if there’s an issue with the keywords they use or the content and the landing page. 

Create ads with high click-through rates (CTR)

When the engagement rate for your advertisements are high, platforms such as Facebook Ads and Google Adwords will provide better placement. Only focusing on keywords isn’t an excellent strategy, and you need to capture the attention of your target audience. 

A great way to improve the CTR of your advertisements is to focus on the various emotions of the users. As a result, you will be able to drive more traffic into key areas, which increases the chances of converting them from prospects into users.

While online marketing comes with intense competition from all sectors, the tips given above will give you the edge in the digital world. Before making any decision, always make sure you have a proper understanding of your target audience!

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship https://ashleystiven.net/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-online-marketing/
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What Does the Future of Health and Fitness Look Like?

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Few forces characterize the commercial world today quite like personalization. From purses to iPods, T-shirts to trainers, digital and physical devices alike, we live in a world where companies big and small understand the most effective marketing plans are often personalized ones.

For as much as we associate personalization with business, however, it has also begun to see greater incorporation into the world of health and fitness. Health tracking apps and Fitbits keep track of personal workout statistics, allowing you to personalize your workout more than ever before.

However, the future of health and fitness may take personalization even further, including potential forays into DNA information.

Personalized Training

Of course, personalized workouts are nothing new. Even those of us who can’t afford the services of a personal trainer often take it upon ourselves to personalize our workouts. 

What makes this different is the extent to which Fitbits and the analytics they provide can be incorporated into your routine. Rather than simply “eyeball it” and make educated guesses about what type of workouts would be best for you today and in what proportion, these analytics can give you precise information about your present and potential fitness. Not only can they be used to track how much progress you’ve made and where you sit at present, but they can likewise project optimal fitness goals and tell you what you need to do to achieve them.

DNA Data

Even so, these Fitbits and analytics are just the beginning. Some see the real revolution about to begin in the form of unprecedented bio readouts. DNA tests following workouts could, in the future, be paired with details such as the future descendants of Fitbit-style health trackers to give greater insight into your wellness than ever before. Such technology could be able to break down your health to a genetic level, allowing wearables such as the Fitbits of the future a degree of info about your health and wellness until now typically reserved for doctors and DNA tests.

Why not? As with so many other industries, personalization is in the fitness world’s very DNA.

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A Guide to Setting Attainable Business Goals

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Whether you want to start a business or take an existing one to new heights, it is essential to set goals. A common trend among owners is that the targets they set are too high. As a result, they feel demotivated and are unable to achieve their goals. 

A better technique would be to set attainable business targets, which you can do with the help of this guide:

Break it down

One major reason why several companies find it extremely challenging to achieve their goals is that the bar is quite high. As a result, owners always look at their targets as an uphill task, which isn’t a good practice.

A better alternative is to break down the goals into smaller ones, which gives you an idea on how to improve various aspects of your business. The advantage is that you can track the progress, which ensures you are on the right track.

Follow SMART technique

An excellent method to set attainable business goals is with the help of the SMART technique. It is an acronym that stands for ‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.’ 

Ask yourself questions based on the above definitions to set the right targets for your company. For example, under “Specific,” you should be clear about what you want to achieve and how you want to go about it.

The simpler, the better

Most of the business owners believe that creating complex goals which require several steps to achieve them is the way to go. However, this isn’t a good practice and makes the whole process confusing. 

Rather than following this common practice, you must create goals which are simple. While it is a must to challenge yourself, there is no reason why you should try to complicate things. The key is to analyze the targets and see how you can simplify them.

With this simple guide, it becomes straightforward for your business to set attainable business goals!

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Five Benefits of Regular Exercise

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You’ve been told that regular exercise is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a longer, healthier lifestyle. You’ve been told that it can help you lose weight, gain happiness, and any number of different things. You’ve been told that it will be a total gamechanger, and your life will never be the same. You’ve been told all of that, sure, but is it true?

What are the real benefits of exercise?

How can you get the most out of them?

Adding to Your Happiness

Exercise can release endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain which stimulate happiness. There are many ways to release endorphins, including eating sugary foods and drinking alcohol, but exercise is clearly the healthiest of those alternatives. As such, exercise can help you improve your mood and make you happier in a direct and tangible way.

Helping You Lose Weight

It should come as no surprise that exercise can help you lose weight. It can be a key way to strengthen your muscles, get your heart rate going at a healthy level, raise your metabolism, and boost your overall energy levels.

Boosting Your Memory

What’s more, it can also boost your memory. A recent study has shown that exercise can help lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s and mitigate the effects of schizophrenia. 

Helping with Sleep

Having trouble falling asleep? Regular exercise can help. A 2006 survey found that 150 minutes per day of moderate to intense exercise can help improve the quality of your sleep by as much as 150%.

Boosting Your Sex Life

Last, but certainly not least, exercise boosts to your libido. What’s more, it can also help you enjoy sex to a greater extent, and pursue it longer. One study showed women in their 40s who performed exercises such as sprints into their lifestyle were more likely to experience orgasms, while another study indicated that men who exercised for several hours every week “performed” higher on “sexual function scores.”

All of these factors combine to give just a glimpse of how beneficial regular exercise can be.

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What Is Physiotherapy?

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Few things can be harder to face than the reality of physical pain paired with uncertainty in how to treat and alleviate it. There is nothing more immediate than pain, and precious few escapes from it, either. One of the few respites of hope you have is that a doctor will be able to cure your injury or be able to tell you how to do so or be able to prescribe medicines that can do the job. Your doctors may have done both, going through different treatments and medicines, but to no avail.

Now what?

The prospect of living with this pain for the rest of your life seems agonizing.

Thankfully, such a painful prospect can be pushed to one side with the help of specialist treatments from a trained physiotherapist.

What Is Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy concerns itself both with the holistic manner in which different muscle and bone structures move together in the body and how those interactions influence one another. Put another way, physiotherapists take a holistic view of personal health. Sometimes, severe neck pain isn’t simply limited to problems with your neck, but stems from problems with your shoulder, spine, or surrounding muscle area. Different muscle systems and bone structures are connected, and so when there’s a problem with one, it can impact and cause problems and pain in other parts of the body.

How Can They Help?

Physiotherapists can treat a wide range of conditions, especially shoulder, neck, and back pain, and similar instances of joint-muscle pain throughout the body. They combine personal physical therapy sessions with special stretches and exercises. When necessary, they supplement these two pillars of treatment with prescriptions, though this is a less common and more severe step.

One area in which physiotherapists specialize is with helping pregnant women manage the strain a pregnancy can put on their bodies. Their emphasis on physical therapy and exercise can help pregnant women avoid having to take more medication while addressing pregnancy-related pain and soreness.

Used correctly, physiotherapy can be a hugely effective way of conquering personal pain.

from Ashley Stiven | Healthcare https://ashleystiven.com/what-is-physiotherapy/
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Mistakes Made While Starting a Business

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Entrepreneurs can be rather stubborn when it comes to pushing through with their ideas and notions. Most of them make a host of avoidable mistakes on the road to starting their own company. These blunders hamper their overall success and productivity. Some of these have been committed since decades and still continue to be repeated by entrepreneurs all over the world. Below, we learn of a handful of these mistakes –

  • Not having a detailed plan in place – Many entrepreneurs spring up at a business idea they have on a spur and begin developing on this without carrying out adequate research. They don’t plan for the market risks involved or the finances they will require to develop their product. While a sketch-through is enough for an entrepreneur to begin with their hit and miss business endeavor, it is not enough to convince investors to back their business idea. 
  • Not marketing your company well – When starting a new business, you ought to market it constantly and consistently. If the public isn’t aware of the existence of your company, how do you expect them to purchase from you? Any entrepreneur worth its salt will spend his/her time conducting due market research and understanding which marketing medium holds the most profitability for them, They will then proceed to target this medium to aggressively advertise their brand.
  • Spending more than is necessary – You wouldn’t believe the number of entrepreneurs that equate exorbitant spending with a successful business launch. Don’t be foolish – come up with specific budgets for each aspect of running your business instead and stick to it. You will notice that your company is functioning healthily and starts giving you a steady stream of return on investments. 
  • Going it solo – Some people are born solopreneurs and can effectively run a company on their own shoulders. Others need a little help from their friends. If you happen to find yourself swamped with responsibilities that you’d much rather outsource, do it. The goal is company turnover, not how well you can multitask!

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship https://ashleystiven.net/mistakes-made-while-starting-a-business/
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