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Live Healthy

Live Healthy

I confess to loving the sun

We know that building your sun protection habits take time–we get that. Taking a proactive approach and working to develop a new relationship with the sun is something almost all of us have struggled with at one point in our lives including our employees here at Coolibar. This confessional was written by one of our employees who understands how important sun protection is and is working on how to be sun safe each and every day.

I have always loved the sun. There. I said it. Growing up with naturally olive skin (my mother is Australian, I used sunscreen daily. It was part of my regime as I prepared to soak up the warmth, the “rays,” and the bronzing effects of daily life in California. I grew up in the sun-kissed culture of the gold coast, where we enjoyed glorious days by our pool, sunny 72-degree days and year-round outdoor activities. I was one of those active kids, playing tennis, yard games, swimming, taking long bike rides in the heat of the day, while comforted knowing my skin tone and sunscreen was safeguarding me.

Feeling protected, I gave myself the freedom and permission to revel in the sun every chance I could get. If I’m really honest, I loved to tan and being tan. Bear in mind, with my heritage, it was easy for me to get dark, and I’ve never burned. Tan, for me, was not only natural, but I believed it was a definition of health and beauty. Tan was pretty. I loved how my skin looked, how I felt, and I somehow thought it made me look fit. As my hair took on the light blonde streaks of summer, I felt people could really see me as healthy; it was true confirmation of being an outdoorsy, fit, active person. This mindset, this feeling, and these behaviors are such a part of my life, such a deep part of my relationship with the sun, that when I came to Coolibar from the warm sunny spirit of California, I was flabbergasted. Talk about a game changer! I met with customers who needed total coverage from the sun, people with allergies, skin cancer, Lupus, those undergoing medical treatment and many, many people who wanted to prevent themselves from being in harm’s way. I learned about UVA rays and UVB rays and how much sunscreen to wear (1 oz., a shot glass full). I’ve learned about eye protection with the right sunglasses; I had no idea you could get eye cancer, cataracts and more from UV sun exposure. I’ve gone through my entire life blithely unaware, and candidly, thinking the sun was in my best friend circle.

Armed with all the facts, I know what it takes to take care of myself. I know better. Now, as I walk my sweet dog Frankie around my neighborhood lake, I stop to realize I need to “walk the talk.” I need to take to heart what Coolibar stands for, our mission to keep the world safe from the sun’s damage and represent our brand in its purest sense. I need to not get so tan. I need to change my friendship with the sun. We’re not breaking up, but we need to see a lot less of each other. On super sunny days, relaxing on the porch, I give myself 15 minutes of partial sun, while my arms and legs are slathered in sunscreen. (I actually use a timer.) I refrain from opening my sunroof in the car during early mornings and late afternoons. I hunt to find spots of shade when at the pool. At the beach, I use umbrella shade and hats. I remember long sleeves and long pants more often. I strap on a hat while I bike ride. For me, this is hard. It feels like I’m going against everything I thought to be right.

For some, making healthy food choices is hard, or being disciplined to get enough exercise or not drink too much. Those are easy steps for me. But, limiting my sun intake as recommended by Coolibar, that comes less easy. Some days are better than others. I know what my head says, and I know what my lifelong sun-kissed California girl heart wants…it’s conflicted and torn. I am in the process of redefining me, myself and my look. Fortunately, I work at Coolibar, the leader in UV clothing. Every day, I work with people committed to reshaping a healthy relationship with the sun, so we can all experience an active life, outside, looking good while staying safe. Minnesota summers are gorgeous, and I want to enjoy every minute of them before the winter cold takes over. Just know, for me, this is not easy. Old habits die hard, but I wake up every day invigorated by creating new ones and defining what is truly healthy.

We know that coming clean with this struggle is not easy. We applaud the effort and know that your new sun habits will become part of your life. It’s never too late to start something new! Share with us the sun habit that was hardest for you to break or that you are still working on in the comments below.

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Live Healthy

Skin Care for Sun Lovers

While sunscreen and UPF clothing top the list for protection for sun sensitivity and prevention against sun damage, adding some powerful foods to your diet can help promote healthy skin from the inside out. The avocado fruit (yes, it is a fruit!), the spice turmeric and coconut oil.

Avocados contain poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids that protect your skin. Polyunsaturated fatty acids guard against sun damage and protect against symptoms of skin sensitivity and inflammation. Monounsaturated fats keep the top layer of your skin supple and moist, so it feels soft and looks great. Avocados are somewhat magical. They contain antioxidants that promote the water content and elasticity of skin, plus decrees destruction of beneficial skin lipids. So skin is naturally more plump and elastic, a very real benefit to help promote anti-aging. They also contain a dose of Vitamin E, a natural protectant from UV rays. Whip up a batch of guacamole by adding fresh lime, cilantro, minced garlic and a dash of Himalayan salt!

A powerful antioxidant, Turmeric has natural healing properties and efficiently treats a number of skin conditions. It’s been scientifically proven to effectively treat acne, eczema, rashes, inflammation, cancer and bruising. Throw fresh turmeric into recipes, add it in the food processor with ginger, garlic, mint and fresh coconut milk for a smoothie, purée or soup base.

Thanks to Paleo lovers, many supermarkets finally stock coconut oil, appearing as a solid oil in a jar. Coconut oil is not only mild yet flavorful, it’s highly effective as a topical treatment as well as using it for cooking and eating. This medium-chain fatty acid helps repair and heal damaged skin, is easily absorbed to strengthen connective tissue, stimulates thyroid function and helps cholesterol convert into anti-aging steroids that lower risks of cancer and heart disease. It also wonderfully boosts metabolism and immunity. Use it for cooking veggies, mix it into your morning coffee instead of diary or just eat a spoonful between meals as a way to tide you over rather than unhealthy snacks. Be sure you buy organic and unrefined (no bleaching or deodorizing).

Wearing the right UPF 50+ clothing outdoors and using sunscreens are essential foundational steps to skin health, but a few dietary additions can help nourish our skin and promote health and healing from the inside out!

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/407893-are-avocados-good-for-your-skin/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631.html
http://www.turmericforhealth.com/

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Live Healthy

5 Yoga Poses That Make Us Feel Relaxed

Relaxation is important for your body and will help you feel better. Stress makes daily living hard and adding these simple yoga poses to your daily routine will help reduce those stressful feelings and replace them with relaxation. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Living on these emergency action hormones every day can make for some uncomfortable side effects. Breathing deeply and practicing the following five yoga poses will get you on the way to a more relaxing life.

The art of relaxation is not an easy one. Many of the poses we chose help you gradually enter a place of deep relaxation and enter a truly relaxed state.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The final pose of any yoga class is one of deep restoration. We chose this pose because when we do this pose it gets us ready to sleep and even if we aren’t relaxed when we start it, it helps us get closer to that feeling.

How to get started:

  •  Lie on your back with your legs and arms at your side. Rest your hand about six inches away from your body with the palms up.
  • Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes.
  • Let your breath occur naturally.
  • Allow your body to feel heavy on the ground
  • Working from the bottom of your feet to the tip top of your head, consciously release every part of your body.
  • Relax your face and let your eyes fall into the back of your head.
  •  Invite peace and silence into your mind, body, and soul.

Benefits

– Calms the brain and helps relieve stress

– Relaxes the body

– Reduces  headaches, fatigue, and insomnia

– Helps to lower blood pressure

Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This pose helps stretch the back of the legs and relieves fatigue and cramping in the legs and feet. We chose this pose because it really can help you if you have back problems from sitting or being on your feet all day.

How to get started:

  • Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall
  • Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.
  • Lower you back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.
  • Shift your weight from side to side and scoot closer to the wall.
  • Let your arms rest open at your side, palms facing up.
  • Release and relax letting your thigh bones drop towards the back of your pelvis.

Benefits:

– Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet

– Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck

– Relieves a mild backache

– Calms the mind

Supine Spinal Twist ( Jathara Parivartanasana)
This pose helps to stimulate your kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladder, and intestines.  We chose this pose because the twist makes us feel great after a stressful day.

How to get started:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Draw both knees to your chest and clasp your hands around them.
  • Extend your left leg along the floor, keeping your right knee drawn to your chest.
  • Extend your right arm out along the floor at shoulder height with your palm facing down.
  • Place your left hand on the outside of your knee. While exhaling drop your right knee over the left side of your body.
  • Turn your head to the right.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

– Stretches the back muscles and spine.

– Stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladders, and intestines.

– Releases stress.

– If the knee is straightened, it stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the legs.

 

Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This resting pose centers calms, and soothes the brain, making it a therapeutic posture for relieving stress. We chose this one because it gives us a feeling of being a child again.

How to get started:

  • Begin on your hands and knees
  • Spread your knees apart keeping your big toes touching.
  • Rest your buttock on your heels.
  • Sit up straight and lengthen your spine.
  • Bow forward, putting your torso between your thighs.
  • Allow your forehead to come to the floor.
  • Keep your arms long and extended, palms facing down.

Benefits:

– Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles

– Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue

– Relieves back and neck pain, when done with head and torso, supported

Standing Forward Bend ( Uttanasana)
Dropping your head below your heart calms your brain. We chose this pose because it helps us stay calm and really gets in a good stretch.

How to get started:

  • Begin in mountain pose.
  • Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening the front of your torso.
  • Bend your elbows and hold onto each elbow with the opposite hand. Let your head hang down.
  • Press your heels into the floor as you lift your sit bones toward the ceiling.

Benefits:

– Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

– Stimulates the liver and kidneys

– Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips

– Strengthens the thighs and knees

– Improves digestion

– Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

– Reduces fatigue and anxiety

– Relieves a headache and insomnia

– Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

 

At Coolibar, we love practicing yoga outdoors in our fitness items! All our clothing is rated UPF 50+ and will keep you protected from the sun while you breathe deeply and relax in any of your favorite poses. Our fitness items also contain Cooltech which keeps you cool as you sweat.

 

We love these two websites for new yoga pose ideas:

http://www.yogajournal.com/poses

https://yoga.com/poses

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