How to Add Cross Training to Your Workouts

Authored by Nate Martins • December 2, 2018

Dedicated training is something to be admired. Many athletes strive for the ability to get up and get out every single day whether it’s for a specific race or event or even, simply driven by a goal. Often that can mean adhering to a training plan based on both repetition and incrementally increased difficulty–monotony and overuse be damned.

But you may get hurt. Or plateau. Or experience a disruption in your training schedule. These can all be detrimental to accomplishing a goal. Then there’s also that inevitable boredom of doing the same training day in and day out. You swear that footprint on the trail was yours from yesterday.

Enter cross training, an exercise program usually employed outside of these intense training blocks to add some variance (physically and mentally) to workouts. It keeps the body guessing, and has many athletes reap the benefits for their main sport: decreased injury potential, and added strength to the most-used muscles.

Here, we’ll detail the science behind cross training, how to work it into your schedule, and some new exercises to try. Your main sport will thank us.

This is Your Body on Cross Training

Simply put, cross training is training in another discipline in improve your main sport. The options are almost limitless–runners can strength train, swimmers can paddle board, cyclists can do yoga. The goal is to supplement your main sport with training that’s beneficial for certain muscles, movements, or even, your brain and mood.

For most athletes, the inclusion of cross training into a workout plan is triggered by an injury sidelining them from regular training. I was no different–hours of basketball and running led to knee pain (from patellar tendonitis, known as “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee”) . But I was stubborn. When I should have stopped the joint-pounding activities, I continued to beat them like a drum. It got to a point where the pain wasn’t worth the workout; but I couldn’t give up working out all together. So I started swimming and incorporating yoga into my routine, which delivered positive and painless results.

Turns out, I’m not alone. Up to 56% of recreational runners experience injuries, with most of those relating to the knee. Supplements can help (like glucosamine, which promotes the development of cartilage), but up to 75% of those are overuse injuries.

Since a majority of injuries happen due to time dedicated to a single sport, cross training can help prevent injuries for the simple fact that it forces athletes to spend less time training singularly. Cross training doesn’t just maintain activity by reducing the risk for injury–it also can increase performance.

A study of 27 male runners were assigned one of three different resistance training regimens (in addition to their normal endurance training): heavy resistance, explosive resistance or muscle endurance training. In all three groups, running endurance performance increased. The heavy-lifting group in particular saw improvements to high-intensity running characteristics, like sprinting at the end of the race.

The benefits of cross training aren’t just physical; there’s also a potential mental benefit of switching it up. Mental fatigue can impact physical workouts–you may be less likely to workout knowing that you’re facing the exact same exercise every day. Especially if an athlete is in-season or training for a specific event, cross-training can provide an exciting challenge. It’s easy to be training heads-down; cross training can help you see the forest between the trees.

Implementing Cross Training

Divorce yourself from the idea that cross training takes away from your regular training schedule. While you’ll inevitably be spending time away from your sweetheart sport, absence makes the muscles grow stronger.

There are three main groups of cross training for endurance athletes: strength training, aerobic low-impact work and aerobic impact work, and each can be part of a cross training program.

Strength Training

Touching upon all major muscle groups is important for effective strength training.

Incorporating strength training into an endurance regimen can enhance physical fitness, as it did in this meta-analysis of distance runners. Even just 30 minutes per week, once or twice a week, can suffice. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in a gym; you can take the at-home approach to incorporating plyometrics or things like push ups.

Regardless of where you strength train, a full body workout will maximize the time you spend training. Consider hitting all the major muscle groups such as arms, chest, shoulders, back, core and legs (more on this later).

Aerobic Low-Impact Work

Probably the reason many athletes experiment with cross training: take stress off those weary joints and reduce injury risk.

Low-impact activities or no-impact workouts can be done two or three times as week. It’s easily implemented, as it can replace an active recovery day or even a harder workout day depending on the exercise; so for those who think they’re losing gains because of cross training, you may actually find yourself enjoying the cross training more than your main exercise.

Cycling, swimming and rowing are some of the most popular low-impact workouts. For flexibility and core exercises, yoga and pilates are go-tos. And you may even be able to workout longer and more frequently using these types of workouts due to the lack of stress they cause the body (swimmers can work out every day, and they’re hitting all the major muscle groups). For example, if you planned on running 45 minutes, you could easily spend 70 minutes cycling.

Aerobic Impact Work

Maybe the reason you’re reading this article is because of too much aerobic impact work.

If you’re training, the amount of aerobic impact work will likely be higher (and may be your only focus during that training block). But in the off-season, or times when you’d like to give your body a break, aerobic impact work should be done once or twice a week. As a general rule, cross-training is meant to limit the impact on the body.

Typically, cross training is meant to offer your body a break from the impact it faces during regular training. You can play team games, train run, circuit train or do CrossFit as a cross training method, as the impact is likely different from your normal routine. But be mindful: any impact work still puts strain on the body.

The Importance of Rest

Before getting into the specific exercises to try, remember the need for rest. Your muscles are asking for it.

The goal of every training session is to break down muscle and without recovery, a portion of that work might be wasted. During recovery, the body begins the process of rebuilding what has been broken down.

Muscle protein synthesis can increase by as much as 50% in the hours after a workout, helping encourage muscle growth. Concurrently, muscle fibers are rebuilt. These processes are a normal part of exercise, and recovery allows the muscles to become stronger. Fluid restoration is also key, as it helps deliver nutrients to organs and muscles through the bloodstream. And acids (via that hydrogen proton associated with lactate) accumulate during workouts–so recovery provides time for the body to restore intramuscular pH and blood flow for oxygen delivery.

In-season, professional triathlete, Kelsey Withrow, is laser-focused on training. When she’s not training, it’s all about recovery.

“As a professional triathlete, I focus all my time on swimming, running and biking. The rest of the time is for recovery.”Kelsey Withrow, professional triathlete

Even though cross training is meant to give the body a break from regular training, it’s still is a source of stress and requires recovery time (or you might burnout). For most athletes, it’s difficult to slow down. Many of us are goal-oriented, hardworking and ultimately–a bit stubborn. Budgeting recovery time is essential, as is providing your body with the necessary fuel to recover properly.

Supplementing recovery may help expedite that process and get you back in the saddle faster. HVMN Ketone has been shown to improve recovery by decreasing the breakdown of intramuscular glycogen and protein during exercise (when compared to carbs alone). It also expedited the resynthesis of glycogen by 60% and protein by 2x when added to a normal post-workout carb or protein nutrition.

Doing the same exercise can be mentally exhausting, leading to a mental fatigue that wears down on your desire to even do the workout. Research has shown that the mind is usually a good gauge of the body, with a mental strain reported by a questionnaire being closely related to stress signals in the hormones of the body. By switching it up with cross training, and also ensuring rest days, the mind will get a chance to recharge too.

Cross Training Exercises

Now is the time to incorporate cross training workouts. The exercises below touch on several different areas of exercise, from strength training to both low-impact and impact aerobic activities.

You can begin by folding in some additional exercises to your existing workouts. Runners may try hills or cyclists may try 30 second sprints–this isn’t cross training exactly, it’s just extra training. The benefits of cross training come with learning something new and focusing on different areas of the body that regular training can neglect.

Try working some of these exercises into your routine. It’s important to pick which is best for your personal needs.


Benefits: Aerobic and cardio workout without the joint or muscle impact

Concerns: Technical ability can limit the quality of training

How to try it: Ensure you have the proper equipment (goggles, swim cap, fins, etc.), check lane times at your local pool, familiarize yourself with technique

A great whole body workout, swimming is one of the low-impact exercises most often used for recovery or cross training. Interestingly, reports show many people enjoy water-based exercise more than land-based exercise.

Swimming works the whole body; it increases heart rate without the joint-pounding stress of running, it builds endurance and can also build and tone muscle. Because of these benefits, it’s a great option for recovery–a study showed that patients with osteoarthritis showed reduced stiffness, joint pain and overall less physical limitation.

It also torches calories. Swimming has shown improved body weight and body fat distribution when compared to walking. An average person can burn almost 450 calories when swimming at a low or moderate pace for one hour. At increased pase, that could go north of 700 calories. For comparison, running for one hour at a leisurely pace burns about 400 calories.

Outside of the aerobic benefits, swimming (and water training, like deep-water running) has shown to improve cardiovascular health and lung capacity.

To incorporate swimming into your cross training routine, first find a place to swim. Then gather the necessary tools (like goggles, swim cap, fins, etc.), and brush up on form before jumping in the pool. Try it one to three times a week for 30 minutes to start.

A cyclist riding through the city with the benefits, concerns and ways to try cycling beneath him.


Benefits: Low impact, aerobic, and strength building

Concerns: Risk of injury and cost of equipment

How to try it: For outdoor cycling, get a bike properly fitted and map your cycling route. Or find a bike / spin class at your local gym. For beginners, try cycling 45 minutes to an hour

Another low impact workout, cycling is a great way to reduce stress on those joint while still clocking in the aerobic hours.

Similar to swimming, cycling burns calories at an impressive clip, anywhere from 400 – 1,000 per hour depending on the intensity of the ride. And since cycling is also a resistance exercise, it’s not just burning fat–it also builds muscle.

A systematic review analyzed the benefits of cycling, showcasing a myriad of results. There was a positive relationship between cycling and cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiovascular fitness and general fitness. Whether on the road, the track, or in the gym on a stationary bike, the benefits of cycling as a cross training mechanism stem from the fact it’s a low impact, muscle building, aerobic workout. It can help athletes train if they have experienced an injury.

There are several ways to train on a bicycle. You can ride hills to build muscle and strength, or do shorter sprints to build speed. There’s also an option for endurance, with riders cycling hundreds or thousands of miles over the course of a long session. For beginners, get a feel for the workout on a stationary bike. As you advance, visit a local bike shop to get your bike properly fitted.

Strength Training

Benefits: Increased muscle strength, bone density, injury prevention, mental health

Concerns: Improper form and too much weight can lead to injury

How to try it: Find a gym with the proper equipment and build a training plan, picking exercises that target both the upper and lower body.

Many endurance athletes don’t consider strength training as part of their workout routine, but it can help prevent injury while improving strength for your main sport. For runners, maybe that’s improved core strength for economy. For cyclists, maybe the outcome is a higher power output. Regardless of your sport, strength training is imperative to improving endurance for runners and cyclists.

In a study of postmenopausal women, high-intensity strength training exercises showed preserved bone density while improving muscle mass, strength and balance. It can also help prevent injury. In a study of soccer players who strength trained in the offseason, hamstring strains were lower (and that group also saw increases in strength and speed).

“You spend so much time beating your body down in-season, but I find that I’m healthier and stronger when I lift. With long distance, being strong helps. I try to put on a lot of muscle during a short period of time.”Kelsey Withrow, professional triathlete

The mental benefits of resistance training have also been documented; studies have shown it improves anxiety and depression.

A good strength training regimen will focus separately on different muscle groups. There are several options for lifters of all different levels, but starting with some simple bodyweight exercises (like push-ups or pull-ups) can allow you to build toward free weight training, weight machines, or rubber tubing. A meta analysis of periodized training–varying your strength training workouts–has shown results for greater changes in strength, motor performance and lean body mass. So don’t get stuck doing the same routine over and over again. A good way to push yourself is to incorporate overload training into some of that strength work.

If you’re strapped for time, a full-body workout once or twice a week (with dedicated recovery time) should suffice. Make sure to also spend some time nailing down form in the weight room, as improper form and too much weight can lead to injury.


Benefits: Increased strength, mobility, flexibility and mood

Concerns: Improper form can lead to injury

How to try it: Find a studio and pick a class level that’s appropriate for your skill level.

An ancient practice designed to create a union between the body and mind, many athletes seek out yoga for its ability to increase strength and flexibility while also promoting mental health benefits.

Yoga can improve performance by targeting specific aspects of flexibility and balance–one study, which took place over the course of 10 weeks in male collegiate athletes, saw improvements in both balance and flexibility. In older adults, studies have shown improved balance and mobility. Strength is also a target of many yoga programs, especially in the core. Even a study in which a specific pose (sun salutation) was used six days per week for 24 weeks, participants saw increased upper body strength, weight loss and endurance.

But with yoga, the body is only half the game. It has been shown to decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone), along with the ability to lower levels of depression, stress and anxiety. There have even been studies which showed overall quality of life improvements in seniors. Maybe part of these mental benefits are linked to better sleep quality. One study illustrated that a group participating in yoga fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more well-rested in the morning.

Yoga isn’t an aerobic workout, but it stretches muscles, builds strength and has been shown to improve mood. Because it’s low-impact, yoga can be done every day. Typically gyms or studios have beginner classes, and they will typically last between 60 and 90 minutes. Athletes can use yoga as recovery days, so between one and three sessions per week would be perfect.

Remember: listen to your body. Athletes always want to push the limit, and many may scoff that yoga is difficult (compared, say, to running). But extending a stretch too far, or practicing yoga without learning form, can lead to injury.

Other Exercises

There are different activities that may be considered cross training, outside of the usual suspects we detailed above.

Hiking, for example, is a great way to build strength and get outside during a recovery day. Same goes with exercises like kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding–these can help build upper body strength while encouraging an athlete to get out of their comfort zone (literally, and figuratively).

“I spend a lot of time training indoors, so getting outside is a lot of fun. I’ll do one long run per week outside, and I’ll bring my dog. It’s a reset for me.”Kelsey Withrow, professional triathlete

We wouldn’t recommend team sports because there’s a risk of injury. But tennis might be an exception. While there are of course injury concerns with every sport and exercise, tennis has shown to improve aerobic fitness, lower body fat percentage, reduce risk for developing cardiovascular disease and improve bone health.

For more passive cross training, think about everyday things you can do to improve strength and balance. Even investing in a standing desk, or sitting on a medicine ball at work can encourage better posture and more movement overall.

Cross Training for Athletes

During peak training season, athletes feel the grind. You’re putting in the hours with a race or event or goal in mind, laboring over the same path, the same laps, the same routine, with little variance.

Cross training is meant to serve as a break, but one that’s productive. It can be a break from your normal routine, both physically and mentally. But it can also invigorate the mind, providing it with a new task to learn, a new challenge to face. And of course, the physical benefits of testing the body in new ways are evident.

To incorporate cross training, try one or more of these exercises a couple times a week. See how you feel. You’ll likely find one you enjoy more than others, one that maybe provides better results than the rest. It’ll take some time to find a balance.

What’s your cross training routine? Let us know in the comments and share your experience.

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Effective Ways To Keep Customers Coming Back To Your Business


Every entrepreneur should know the importance of customers. If you don’t have people willing to buy what you sell, then your venture won’t last. This is why so much time and money is invested in marketing. However, as important as it is to get customers through your doors, it’s even more so that they come back. After all, these returning customers offer more value than any one-time consumer ever could. With that in mind, here are five ways to keep customers coming back.

1. Give Everyone Special Treatment

Attracting new customers to your business is incredibly important. This is why many companies give special treatment to those consumers. They’ll offer exclusive discounts, attractive deals, better service, and much more, all in a bid to get customers to buy from them. This can be an effective strategy but does only work for so long. As soon as the VIP treatment ends, those once loyal customers tend to go elsewhere. This is why you should try to treat everyone the same.

2. Have The Right Tools

It’s impossible to provide great service unless you have the tools to do so. Because of this, you must ensure that you have all you require to solve your customers’ problems. Depending on your business idea and industry, this could include anything from a microplate to a lawnmower. Retail businesses must also ensure that they have plenty of stock. Without these essentials, you’ll let your customers down, which could cause them to go to a different business.

3. Post On Social Media

Social media is incredibly popular these days. It plays a big part in our lives, with most of us checking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at least once every few hours. An effective way to stay on your customers’ minds, therefore, is to post frequently on social media. You could share a new blog post, tweet about a special offer, or post a picture of a new product. This content gives customers a reason to visit your pages and site, which will often push them to spend.

4. Act On Customer Feedback

The people best equipped to tell you how to keep customers coming back are the customers themselves. For this reason, you must ask for feedback at every purchase and pay attention to it when it is given. As difficult as it can be to receive a bad review, you must see the value in it. Now that you know that you’re doing something wrong, you can make the changes necessary to improve. Once these are made, previously frustrated customers might choose to return.

5. Reward Customers For Purchases

Some customers will require a little more motivation to purchase from you again. This where a loyalty program can benefit you. By rewarding customers for their repeat purchases, you give them a solid reason to buy again. Eventually, those customers will stop buying for the rewards and simply do so because they have built up a relationship with your business. There are many ways to reward purchases, including money off and free gifts.

Customers are necessary for the survival of your business, so keep them coming back with the advice above.

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Taking The Stress Out Of Working In Construction

people working on building during daytime

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Deadlines, demands, and danger are all common forces on a construction site. The client will have strict preferences, and you will have to meet their expectations in a range of different areas. This can make the life of someone working in this industry into a very stressful one, especially if you own or manage your own company. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the aspects of this field which can cause anxiety, along with some solutions which will make it easier to move in the right direction.

The Law

When you’ve spent your life working with bricks, wood, and metal, the idea of sitting down with a pile of law books can be a depressing prospect. It’s unlikely that you’ll have had the chance to learn about this field before, and this makes it incredibly difficult to understand the rules which you have to follow. Thankfully, you can put someone else to this task, saving yourself a huge amount of time and effort in the process. To find a legal professional, you’ll need to do some research online. This can be as simple as looking for the best people in your area, and most people will be able to do this over a couple of days.

The Employees

Having people work for you is an exciting prospect, but it can also come with a lot of dread. You will be responsible for these people, providing them with work and a safe environment to do it in. If you fail to meet the requirements which are in place, you could find yourself struggling to keep your business moving forwards, with your team getting frustrated if they are treated badly. Government operations, like the Construction Industry Scheme, are designed to make the lives of employer’s easier. Not only can options like this handle complicated tasks for you, but they can also offer advice, giving you the chance to follow a path which works properly for you.

The Money

Building work is never cheap, and it usually takes a long time to complete. This makes working in this industry risky for some, especially when they don’t charge for a job until it is done, as you may not get paid for the time, effort, and investment you’ve made. Overcoming this is nice and easy, with a contract being the very best way to keep your clients in order. If you’re able to get long-term contracts with governments or other organisations, your business will have the chance to become far more secure, as these sorts of jobs don’t tend to disappear unless you don’t uphold your side of the bargain.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of taking the stress out of the field of construction. A lot of people struggle when they enter fields like this, finding it hard to know what they need to do to escape the pressure. Of course, though, it doesn’t have to be this way, as long as you’re willing to put some effort into it.

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Three Easy Superfood Smoothies To Get Your Daily Dose Of Hemp Oil


A new way to take your CBD…

Smoothies are a great way to start your day off on the right foot. These recipes are packed with clean, healthy ingredients as well as some of our favorite superfoods. Read on for some simple recipes to jump start your day!

Green Machine

1/2 dropper Spearmint flavored Tasty Drops (depending on serving size)

1 frozen banana

1/2 avocado

1/4-1/2 cup ice

1 cup almond, soy, or coconut milk

1-2 handfuls of spinach

1-2 tsp agave, maple syrup, honey, or other natural sweetener (optional)

Strawberry Dream:

1/2 dropper Berry flavored Tasty Drops (depending on serving size)

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup almond, soy, or coconut milk

1/4 cup ice

1 Tbsp almond butter

1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

2 tsp vanilla

1-2 tsp agave, maple syrup, honey, or other natural sweetener (optional)

Cacao Maca:

1/2 dropper Vanilla flavored Tasty Drops

1 frozen banana

2 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder

1 tsp maca powder

1 Tbsp almond butter

1/4-1/2 cup ice

1-2 tsp agave, maple syrup, honey, or other natural sweetener (optional)

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Flying CCTV And Other Technologies That Promise To Keep Your Office Safe

For companies to have value long term, they need to be able to keep their workers and property safe. But how? Traditionally, firms used burglar alarms and security guards, but in today’s world of high-technology, are there any other options? It turns out that there are, and they’re rather exciting. Let’s take a look.

Flying CCTV


Between 2000 and 2010, CCTV took over all our lives. At the start of the decade, cameras were still expensive, but as time wore on, they got cheaper, smaller, smarter and higher resolution. Today, we may be on the cusps of a new CCTV revolution: the advent of drone CCTV cameras.

Drone CCTV might seem a little excessive for your average city centre office – and it is. But where the technology shines is where a company has to monitor a large (and changing area). Already some agricultural businesses use drones to survey their property, and factories are also now looking into the technology according to Flying CCTV could support regular CCTV or could be used in conjunction with people on the ground.

Virtual Keys


Most offices operate a traditional keycard system. Workers arrive at the office, swipe their keycards, and then a smart piece of software signs them in so that employers know who is in the building and when they arrived/left.

But as most company managers know, employees have a nasty habit of forgetting or losing their keycards, making access a nightmare. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just get rid of keys altogether?

It turns out that you can. Geofencing and other technologies allow people to sign in and sign out of a building by merely carrying their smartphone on their person. When the phone detects that it is a geofenced area, it sends a signal to the central server, informing it that a person has entered the building: no key required.

Wireless Fire Alarms

Regular company fire alarms, as points out, are expensive to install and can be unreliable. Companies have to hook their alarms up to the mains telephone lines and must place them strategically around their buildings in a pre-defined pattern.

However, superior solutions are coming to market that use wireless technology. The idea is to connect fire alarms to regular WiFi, cutting down the risk that the alarm’s power supply will fail or that it won’t be able to communicate emergency messages.

Remote Monitoring

Managers would love to know what goes on in their businesses while they’re away. And with remote monitoring, they can find out. The way remote monitoring works is simple: the business owner sets up a series of cameras around his or her premises and then connects to them over the internet via an app on their phone or computer. They are then able to watch everything that’s happening in real-time, and sometimes send voice messages through a speaker on the camera unit.

Cameras are also getting smarter. Some use machine learning to identify suspicious activity, automatically alerting owners through the companion app.

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How to Keep Your Workforce Happy and Productive

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A happy workforce is a productive workforce, so it is in every company’s best interest to take care of their employees. Keeping your workforce happy can trigger a domino effect throughout the business, creating a culture of happiness, and making for a far more pleasant work environment for everyone. In turn, this can lead to improvements in all areas of your company. Benefits created from maintaining a happy workforce include; better customer service, increased productivity, and employees that are more likely to go the extra mile to help you meet tight deadlines, and complete projects.

Another significant benefit of keeping your employees happy is that your staff are likely to take less time off sick as a result of workplace stress, which is excellent both for your employee’s health and wellbeing and your business. It is likely that happy employees will also equal a higher rate of staff retention, meaning less time and money spent on recruitment and training.

Here are some suggestions on how to keep your employees happy in the workplace:

Provide the Right Tools for the Job

There is nothing more irritating than being given a task to do and then not being able to do it as you don’t have the correct equipment, or it isn’t working as it should. Slow computer systems and machines that are continually breaking down will not only seriously harm productivity, but will also mean frustrated staff. Without the right equipment, your staff is likely to feel undervalued. In short, if you want your team to do a great job, they need the right tools to do it with.

Safety First

As well as providing your staff with the right equipment, you also need to make sure that it is safe to use. Employees using unsafe equipment, or not following the correct safety procedures could cause serious injury to either your employees or member of the public, and be disastrous for your company. Unfortunately, sometimes a culture of cutting corners develops in companies; when a lax attitude towards safety becomes commonplace, the chances of an accident happening are obviously far more likely.

To keep everyone safe, it is essential that you get the equipment checked regularly to ensure it meets safety standards, companies such as Ranger can provide this service. You should also ensure that employees are adequately trained in health and safety procedures and how to use equipment safely.

Treat them Fairly

Treating people fairly to get a better response from them, is, of course, an obvious thing to do. However, it is surprising just how common it is for employers and managers to micromanage their employees and have unrealistic expectations of what they can get done.

Not treating your staff fairly, will have a significant impact on staff morale, and is likely to result in a higher turnover of staff. Making an effort to treat your employees with respect, courtesy, and fairness will mean that they are more likely to work harder for you, and will boost staff morale.

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5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress: CBD Can Help

In our modern, fast-paced world, stress is becoming a very common component in our everyday lives. It has become so common, in fact, that we no longer seem to notice stress until it has compounded into something bigger and has started affecting our health. Stress, or rather, stress hormones (a primary stress hormone like cortisol), are released into the body to trigger our “fight or flight” response. In dire situations, these hormones help elevate our energy supplies, increase the concentration of glucose in our blood, and even help our brain use glucose optimally for quicker decision making. However, long-term activation of the body’s stress system could cause a host of health problems — anxiety, depression, heart disease – to name a few.

Therefore, it is important we learn of ways to relieve ourselves of stress. Below are five simple ways to relieve stress:

1. CBD Oil

You’ve probably heard of CBD quite often this whole year. There is good reason for that. Aside from its uses in alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy, it is also being used as a natural means of reducing anxiety and a great way to relieve stress. This is because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This is a network of CBD receptors along our central nervous system. These receptors react to CBD by fixing imbalances, strengthening our immune system, and relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety. So a couple of drops of CBD oil every day might just be a great way to help relieve stress.

2. Meditation

If you are looking for a very cheap way of reducing stress without taking anything, meditation is the way to go. Meditation has been known to help ease stress and anxiety by focusing our attention to emptying our mind and breathing deeply. Not only will this help you relax, but it could also re-energize you to help you face the rest of your day with a bit more calm. If you find yourself stressed by too many meetings or an impending deadline, take a few minutes to center yourself, empty your mind of any thoughts, and breathe.

3. Exercise

Physical activity causes our body to release happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. To people who have experienced what is called the “runner’s high”, this is actually the rush of endorphins released by your body as a response to running. Endorphins help our body reduce stress by helping our body overcome pain, and regulate our sleep. The stress hormone cortisol actually reduces the production of happy hormones in our body which will lead to more stress for us. Exercising would help build these hormones back up in our system.

4. Reduce caffeine

We all have a caffeine threshold. Caffeine is known to help keep us awake and give us that boost of much-needed energy, especially in the mornings when all we want is to go back to sleep. However, too much caffeine can contribute to anxiety which in turn causes stress. It could also cause heart palpitations, cold sweat, and some digestive upset when you take too much caffeine. So if you find yourself getting anxious after your second or third cup of coffee, it might be a good idea to skip that cup of joe and maybe have something with lower caffeine levels. Perhaps a nice low caffeine tea, or, dare we say, some decaf coffee?

5. Socialize

Spending time with friends and family is a great stress reliever. No matter how introverted and socially averse you are, there is always someone you prefer spending your time with. And for those of us who are extroverted, being with people is an energizing experience. Laughing and having an enjoyable time with the people you love will help you relax more, and forget about your woes. In women, spending time with family and children helps in releasing oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.

No matter your station in life, stress is unavoidable. Keeping these five tips in mind will help you in managing or maybe even relieving stress. And in turn will help you enjoy life more, avoid health issues, and even develop a healthier relationship with yourself and with your social circle.

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