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April 2013

Events SunAWARE

Skin Cancer Awareness Month 2013

May has been declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Centers for Disease Control. They remind us to increase awareness of the importance of the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. Each year, approximately 2 million persons in the United States are diagnosed with non melanoma skin cancers. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a history of sunburn are preventable risk factors. With a little pre-planning it is easy to be sun safe all season long, and we’ve gathered a few ideas to help get you started.

1. Be SunAWARE and Be Safe! Use the easy to remember SunAWARE acronym to help keep in mind all the steps needed for sun safety. Remember it, use it and share it!

2. Get a Free Skin Cancer Screening at the Road to Healthy Skin Tour. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour will make its way across the U.S. The mobile Tour kicks off in New York City in May for Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Check the Tour Schedule to see if it’s visiting your community.  If you go, say hi to the Tour event managers, Chris and Christie, protected by Coolibar Sunwear.

3. SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday.  The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday and asks you to SPOT Orange™ to raise awareness of skin cancer. Visit the Academy’s website to find free screenings in your neighborhood.

Coolibar proudly supports the AAD’s SPOT Orange™ Skin Cancer Initiative and you can too.  We donate $10 for every Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT™ Tee sold.

Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT T-Shirt Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT T-Shirt

 4. Attend a Skin Cancer Prevention Event.  Throughout the country there are walks, runs and golf tournaments that all benefit skin cancer prevention efforts. A few of our favorites are MRF’s Miles for Melanoma, MIF Safe from the Sun and the Stay Out of the Sun Run in MN.

5. Celebrate Don’t Fry Day. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention declares the Friday before Memorial Day (May 24, 2013) as “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness. Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many tips as possible.

Do you have other suggestions?  Share how you plan to make May and the rest of your summer sun safe. ‘Leave a reply’ below or visit our Facebook page.

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Coolibar Athletes

Find the motivation you might be missing

Staying active can be a challenge when our busy schedules interfere with our free time. We all know how this feels! And so the challenge is to find that motivation and hold on to it so we can enjoy our summer activities.

For me, getting ready for summer is where it starts. I enjoy being outdoors and most of my summer activities involve me being in a swimsuit. This is my motivation! We all tend to work out a little less in the cold winter months. Not to mention eat more during the holidays! So after all of the fuss is over, and the New Year starts, it is time for me to begin.

I set little goals since I like instant results and want to ensure I don’t lose my motivation by getting discouraged. Another way I make sure I achieve my goals is by posting them on my Motivate webpage. I set up this page for myself, my family and friends so we can help keep each other on track. We post what workout we want to do that day and then we have to do it! We all help each other by checking in with each other and seeing how we all do.

My goal for this summer involves my new favorite sport — SUP Yoga. This is yoga on a stand up paddle board which is taught at Outdoor to the Core SUP LV at Lake Las Vegas. Their class introduced an entirely new element to yoga by adding constant balance which builds and strengthens core muscles.  I am working to be able to do a headstand on the paddle board! Of course means I will need to be outdoors on the water practicing as much as possible.

Coolibar Athlete Krista Kennedy practicing SUP yoga

Thanks to the great Coolibar products, I can be out in the sun practicing longer than I could before. The sun protective material keeps me cool, and when it gets wet, it does not get heavy. It dries fast! It is also very flexible which is necessary in order for me to complete many of the positions in yoga. I was happily surprised when I attempted the wheel yoga pose and did not feel any restrictions from the Coolibar clothing.

So this spring and summer as you are setting goals for yourself remember to start small. Gradually build to your long term goal so you don’t get burnt out and quit. And when you are out in the sun, don’t forget that staying sun protected is important!

Krista Kennedy

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New Products What's Hot

Vera SUNTECT® Review

Can sun protective clothing look and feel luxurious?

I was a big skeptic too, until now.

I work in Yorkville, one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Toronto. For American readers, Yorkville is like the Soho of New York. So looking stylish is important, but so is protecting my skin from the aging effects of the sun—without looking like I live in Boca Raton.

Every week I swing by the swish clinic owned by cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, who is our medical advisor on The Skiny.com to see what’s new in the world of skin care.

Preserving youthful, healthy skin is a top priority at Dr. Kellett’s clinic. That’s why she sells not only sunscreen but also chic black sun hats at the front desk. Dr. Kellett has a 360 degree approach to sun protection, “The best way to prevent skin cancer and signs of aging is to use an SPF 30 or higher daily, which covers both UVA and UVB rays. Also a hat, sun protective clothing and using behavioral techniques such as avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 and 4 pm and seeking shade are useful,” advises Dr. Kellett. 

Coolibar has made my life easier by offering stylish hats and anti-sun clothing that you’re not embarrassed to wear.  Honestly speaking, most companies using UPF 50+ fabrics are more about function than fashion.

Helen Vong in Coolibar’s Vera Resort T

I became smitten with Coolibar’s quality products last summer when I reviewed their Boyfriend Shirt—which was surprisingly beautifully cut—and wide brimmed hat (so glamorous!). So when Coolibar asked me to review some pieces from their new vera SUNTECT® line, I jumped at the chance.

I chose two tops in orange (Tango), their boldest color, for spring. When the shirts arrived, I did not expect them to feel as nice as some of my designer shirts. I spent the week experimenting with different looks, from work to play.

Somehow, through some magical melding of tightly woven beach wood fibers and spandex, these shirts are soft like cashmere and cut to drape your body beautifully so you can dress them up or down. And how they have managed to retain the high sun protection factor eludes me! My closet—and skin— thanks you, Coolibar for making this truly innovative fabric. Add some anti-aging power to your wardrobe with some vera pieces. 

Helen reviewed the Vera Plaza Polo and the Vera Resort T-Shirt. Shop all vera SUNTECT® products.

About Helen: Helen Vong is the Editor-In-Chief at theskinY.com, a Canadian lifestyle site focused on aging beautifully by taking care of your skin. Helen comes from the print world. She spent five years as an editor for Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine, and as a freelance writer for Elevate, Canada’s anti-aging magazine. Fittingly, her motto in life is “Work hard, play hard – but see a good dermatologist so you don’t age prematurely!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coolibar Athletes Sevve Stember

Key ingredients for fitness success

Motivation is one of a few key ingredients for success.  I stay motivated by having goals to train for and think about.  Additionally, I try to plan some short weekend trips as well as a couple larger road trips.  These are at the core of what motivates me to stay active because in order to be successful on the road, I must be prepare during the spring and summer.  I think of my trips as “final exams” where I put together months of hard work and enjoy some of the premier climbing destinations and routes in the world.  Once I’ve worked hard, I can truly savor each climb and know that I’ve prepared myself to the best of my ability. 

Thinking more locally, I always have a “project” that I am working on.  In non-climber terms, this means that there is a really hard route that I am figuring out the moves on and working towards climbing it with no falls-that could happen the next week or the next year.  Whatever your recreational outlet is, set a goal that is attainable but is beyond what you’ve ever accomplished before.  You must also believe in yourself and your ability to attain levels that you’ve never thought were possible.

My advice to anyone that is looking to stay active outdoors is to find an outdoor sport or hobby that brings you joy, satisfaction, and meaning.  Getting “burnt out” out happens all too often because people do not love what they are doing.  If you do not love running, don’t run.  Instead, walk, play soccer, bike,….the list goes on.  Try many different activities until you find the one or two that really seems to fit you, your family, and your lifestyle.  At the end of the day, you should feel like you spent your time doing exactly what you wanted to do. 

Find some people to be active with.  One of the most enjoyable parts of climbing or skiing for me is the fantastic company that I get to do those activities with.  Lastly, keep a journal where you write down the date, what you did, length of time, and any other short notes you want.  I’ve found the key to keeping a training log that you actually use is to keep entries really short.  That way, you are more likely to continue using your training journal if it does not require much time to maintain it.  This written record of activity is a good visual reminder of how many days you’ve been active in a week.  It can be a reminder that you are working hard and where you want to be or a reminder that you need to get outdoors more and get some physical activity.

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Inside Coolibar

Coolibar Environmental Responsibility

The next time you place an order with Coolibar, not only are you saving your skin, you’re also helping to reduce packaging waste. Coolibar has incorporated biodegradable garment bags and mailing envelopes into outgoing packages. Eco-One™ technology, an organic additive that enhances the biodegradability of plastics in  biologically active landfills.  Eco-One™ only starts to work in this environment, breaking down the plastic into inert humus, methane and carbon dioxide.

Even though many plastics can and should be recycled, many end up in landfills. In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated was recovered for recycling. In 2010, approximately 12 percent of plastics, including bags, sacks, and wraps were recycled.

Most of these plastics will sit in landfills for centuries. At Coolibar, we believe both informed businesses and consumers can make environmentally conscious decisions today, to impact tomorrow’s world, one step at a time. Coolibar wishes to become more environmentally responsible by making this small but significant change to using plastics bags with Eco-One™.

Look for our new bags when you place your next order!

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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

“Cool”ibar on Earth Day

As a Coolibar sun protective clothing fan, you can not only feel good about protecting your skin, but protecting a bit of the earth as well.

Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Earthly Deeds:
1) For every sun protective clothing garment you wear versus sunscreen alone, you’re reducing the amount of sunscreen you use along with packaging waste. For more information read: Sun Protective Clothing vs. Sunscreen

2) Quality sun protective clothing like Coolibar’s lasts for years — we mean it! The sun protection doesn’t wash or wear out, and lasts for the life of the garment. If you have one child that outgrows the UPF clothing, you can pass it down to the next! For more information read: The Coolibar Guarantee

3) Coolibar has incorporated biodegradable garment bags and mailing envelopes into outgoing packages. (More on this to come later in the week!)

4) Coolibar recognizes the importance of using sunscreen on exposed skin (face, hands, feet, etc.). That’s why we carry sunscreen brands such as Raw Elements, chemical free zinc oxide sunscreen.

From Raw Elements Sunscreen: According to a study released in January 2008, four common chemical sunscreen agents may be at least partly responsible for increased coral bleaching worldwide. Cinnimate, benzophenone, parabens (artificial preservatives) and camphor derivatives were found to activate viruses in the algae. Not only are these chemicals infecting the reef, they are also disrupting the surrounding ecosystem as well. Algae being the primary energy source for coral reefs, once infected and depleted, the coral bleaches and dies. An estimated four to six thousand pounds of chemical sunscreen wash off swimmers each year and ten percent of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed. Environmental groups and environmentally conscious scuba and snorkel resorts around the world suggest using biodegradable zinc oxide-based sunscreens when entering fragile ecosystems such as oceans, lakes and ponds. Using a chemical free sunscreen with an active ingredient of Zinc Oxide is s a conscientious alternative to damaging sunscreens that consist chemical UV absorbers, synthetic preservatives or other harsh chemicals.

Happy Earth Day!

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Inside Coolibar

Where’s Spring?

In Minnesota it’s common place to complain about the weather. Today is April 19th and we are shoveling out from a foot of snow dumped on us yesterday – thank you Old Man Winter.

It’s difficult to practice Healthy Sunny Living when there is no sun. So, today at Coolibar, we are all thinking very deeply about spring and summer and willing it to emerge. We ask you to do the same. Share a warm thought or photo because spring like weather is right around the corner!  We’ve added a few of our customer favorites for inspiration.

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Coolibar Athletes

Rain On a Track Meet

It’s 4:30pm Monday night, and I’m standing under a bit of roof that juts out from the side of the local high school. My oldest daughter’s track team, the other coaches, a few of the more dedicated parents, and myself have taken shelter there from the pouring rain that has invaded our track meet.  We’re on a 30 minute lightning sighting delay.  Basically, we’re giving it a standard 30 minutes to get better or we’re going to call the meet off. 

Track season weather in Illinois has been harsh this year. We have completed just one meet so far, and cancelled two. The one we did complete, we saw the temperature drop from almost 70 to under 40 during the 3 hour meet. We almost all froze.

So, here I stand, and I’m thinking about “How can I blog about St. Louis Family Fitness Weekend now?” An event I ran the weekend prior.

A couple hours before the meet, I sat down to write a glorious post about what will be one of my family’s great memories.  We had had a fantastic time. My wife, Cortny, and my youngest daughter, Madeline, had run the 5K on Saturday (April 6th). I had run the Half-marathon the following day.  My mother, sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces had all come up from Tennessee for some much needed family time, and to see us all run.  We had all been to the zoo and had spent an entire evening climbing and playing at the amazing City Museum (highly recommend it). It was, quite frankly, an awesome weekend.

If I’d been less of a procrastinator, that would have been the blog. You’d be reading now of a family adventure. I did procrastinate though, and as I had sat down to write…literally as I sat down…texts started coming in. Facebook lit up on my phone. I quickly turned on my TV.

There, on my TV, had been the exact images from our weekend before. Oh, it was a different city, and different folks, but it was the same. The finish line and spectators were set as mine had been the weekend before. The signs were raised to cheer on Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, etc. My family had been standing right there, right by the finish line, to see me come in.

The runners had shown up by the thousands, some for the first time and others for the 50th.  Some were there for a cause and others to prove it to themselves – all smiling.

So, I’m standing there a little stunned, and in a daydream, waiting out the weather with the team, and one of the kids says to me “So, Coach, you still gonna run?”

At first I didn’t get it, “What?”

“Now that they bombed the marathon? You still going to do that kind of stuff?” he asked.

“Dang Right I am!” I said with as big a smile as I could. “If anything, I am going to run further, and faster than before.”

At first he didn’t get it, “What, Coach?”

“Look, runners are the toughest, bravest, most dedicated people I have ever known. We aren’t easily taken down, and should never be counted out. The people I’ve run with will all be running harder, longer, faster.  Some bad guys inadvertently made us runners a symbol for our country, and put it on our shoulders.  They made a huge mistake.  We can haul the load….and we will.”

And as kids do, he responded “Cool.”    

The rain eventually subsided, and the track meet went on.

Chad Hannon
Coolibar Athlete

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Coolibar Athletes

Ready, set, make goals

What motivates me to get active?  First and foremost, a tangible goal.  Whether it’s your first 5K, a half ironman or a marathon there is nothing like setting a goal, training for it and achieving success.  It provides a sense of accomplishment and pride.  No need for anyone else to pat you on the back. Crossing the finish line after months of training is proof enough of a job well done.  It doesn’t matter that I’ve never won a race or been on the podium.  What is important is that I’m out there doing it, which is a lot more than many others can say.

So what helps me get up before dawn to train for events?  Well, honestly, a lot of self talk while I’m lying in bed.  It usually goes something like this: “Sarah, get up.  You know you’ll feel better after you get your workout in.  Five more minutes of the snooze button isn’t going to make a difference. Get up.  Get UP!  GET-OUT-OF-BED!”  Once up, I really rely on music to get me going.  Loud music.  My work out music playlist is eclectic and some would say, I’m sure, dated.  But go ahead and tell me when you hear “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor in the middle of a long run you wouldn’t smile.  Tell me you wouldn’t pick up that pace just a little bit more and pretend you are about to enter the ring with Mr. T or cross the finish line in Kona.  I’ve also been known to belt out Guns n Roses while running and have taught my daughter the chorus to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”. What can I say?  Cheesy music gets me going.

And that is exactly where I found myself this morning.  Yelling at myself to get out of bed and go run.  To continue with my training for this goal I set for myself back in October.  But this morning, it was a little bit more emotional for me than usual.  The explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th, shook me more than I expected. 

Yesterday, the day after the event, I got up and got in the pool no problem and then ran on the treadmill, numb to the non-stop media coverage in front of me of what happened in my hometown.  Everyone I knew who was running was safe.  I had the day off from work and wasn’t affected by the emergency protocol set into place at the hospital.  I was fine. My family was fine.  Except that I’m not fine.  I am sad.  I’m scared.  I’m worried about the future.  And I’m mad.  Much has been written in the past two days about the meaning of Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon to us Bostonians, and I won’t attempt to re-write what’s already in print.  Instead, I will say that when I finally got out to the end of my driveway this morning, put on my loud, cheesy music and went for a run, what motivated me more than anything was an overwhelming sense of community.  I am a native of the Common wealth of Massachusetts, work in the city of Boston, years ago experienced first hand the crowds lining Boylston St. encouraging even the back-of-the-pack bandit runners like me towards the finish line. To not get up and go for a run on such a beautiful New England spring morning would be to let the bad guys win; and I just can’t let that happen.  Cue up Survivor. Rocky.  “Risin’ up, back on the street…”  Cheesy? Cliché? Yes, but I ran.  And I may have been imagining it, but I swear all the other runners I saw this morning smiled a bit bigger, nodded with more intention and gave off a sense of solidarity I’ve never noticed before.

What I’ve always known, but tend to forget sometimes in the busyness of life, is that running, biking and swimming are also good for my mental health.  Clearly this morning’s run was a cathartic and healing experience for me.  Still saddened by the events of earlier in the week, I am now able to deal with that grief and get back to my daily life.  Score 1 more for the good guys.

Boston Strong,

Sarah Gay

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Coolibar Athletes

The Fight for Life 1,300+ Miler

Coolibar Athlete Ally Loisel-Murray is currently on her way from Minnesota to Galveston, TX, where she will begin her 1,300 mile run back to Minnesota on April 22nd. Ally’s mission is prevention — raising awareness for Carotid Artery Dissection, Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke Prevention! Ally had a life threatening car accident just before her qualifying race for the Boston’s Marathon in 2008. She survived a stroke and three traumatic brain injuries. She also trisected her left carotid artery.

Before Ally left for Texas, we had to get her last minute thoughts. After all, not many can claim to have run 1,300 miles consecutively.

How have you prepared yourself for this run both mentally and physically?
I started running with the Minnetonka High School Boys Track team last January 2012. I was very impressed with the team. My concerns were with my health. I had no idea what I was capable of after such a long recovery. My vascular system had been through so much. Had no idea if I could raise my blood pressure to the max! However, I never thought about my health. I was focused on those kids and proving that a 35 year old woman could keep up! Nothing prepares you for this type of adventure. However, these young adults challenged and pushed me to take back the life I once had. They had no idea they were a part of helping me heal. I loved that job! At the beginning of September, I was on my own for training! Heart broken I wasn’t able to help them through the cross country season I had to go back to motivating myself. I was blessed to have the main portion of my training with a great team! I was over the worst! However, the next six months I would have physical therapy two to three days a week, spin classes three to four days a week, swimming three to four days a week, and an awful treadmill to avoid injury between 6-12 miles a day and 18 miles once a week at the most. Metabolic testing once a month and deep tissue massage started two to three days a week at the beginning of February, as I feared injury.

How much time training did you put in every week?
Generally, between three and four hours a day five times a week.

Do you have set goals along the way?
My goal is each day wakeup, run for an hour and a half to two hours, eat breakfast, stretch, ice, and nap. Then wake up, run for an hour and a half to two hours again, eat lunch, stretch, ice, and nap again. And finally wake up again and run for another one hour or so, eat dinner, stretch, ice and go to bed. This is in theory. I may or may not be able to do this. I have prepared for this. However, I may have a day where my body doesn’t want to run anymore. I have given myself one day a week for rest and chilling. I do not believe in setting goals for each point as I don’t want to disappoint myself if I take longer to get to a point than expected.

Once your start running, how do you plan to keep your energy up?
I have a wonderful and patient husband who is also a personal chef that will help me with my dietary needs. High fat and high protein foods while making sure I have at least three liters of water and keep hydrated.

What are your feelings as the start date draws near?
I am extremely nervous. However, I am trying to get everything taken care of before I leave that I never thought of. Examples: dry groceries, packing enough clothing for three runs a day, calling down to Texas to verify my police escort across the 45 bridge, trying to rent an ice machine for my legs last minute, packing my dogs up and finding time to drop them off at the kennel six hours away and return without losing a day, preparing for a lecture and PowerPoint I am presenting the day before I leave for Texas, and so much more.. like finding an RV.. I haven’t even secured this huge portion of my adventure.  I have learned to roll with it. Everything will come together eventually.

What do you hope to get out of the run in the end?
My goal is to thank my doctors for saving my life and give hope to others struggling like myself. I have no idea if I will inspire other. However, by running this, I will prove I can live 20 miles from Abbott hospital, to trust my body and myself, and that nothing can stand in the way of hope! We can’t give up!

How are your friends and family supporting you?
I think they are still in disbelief! I had less than a 5% chance of living and now four years later I am taking on the world! I have been pushing the envelope. They are very proud. However, My parents are still scared. They are still recovering from the initial diagnosis the neuro-surgeon had given. They will always be my parents first. My husband is my greatest motivator. He doesn’t allow me to find excuses and reminds me to push past my fear. It has been a very hard lesson. I still am learning.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you leave for Texas?
Don’t give up on yourself! Keep fighting. I do not know the outcome of my run from the Gulf of Mexico to Chanhassen, Minnesota. However, I am willing to take the chance. Please feel free to follow my run and blog http://allysmission.com/.

Ally Loisel-Murray

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