Coolibar Athletes

Getting creative with fitness

Now that better weather is upon us, I am asked more and more, “I want to get in shape this summer, but I always give up. How do you stay motivated?” I have to admit, when I started getting in shape, what seemed like a good idea just never was enough, and I fell into many ruts myself. Articles would tell me to keep a calendar or schedule and make sure I had good music on my iPod. It didn’t take me long to realize that a piece of paper on the fridge that said “3 miles” on today’s date wasn’t enough, and “Crazy Train” coming up on my earbuds was only going to work once or twice.

Eventually, it became abundantly apparent I would need many ways to motivate myself and, really, a new way of thinking about training. So, here you go, some of the things I use to trick, fool, and force myself to get out and train.

Social Media: I am talking about is using it constructively. Join some local running, biking, hiking (whatever your passion) groups and talk about what you plan to do. You’ll find they are encouraging, and more times then not, you will find yourself invited to go out with them for some training. Amazingly, they will actually want to hear about your successes and failures, as you will soon find you will want to hear of theirs.

Strand Yourself: One of the best ways to get out and accomplish something is to leave yourself with no choice. Have your wife/husband/other drive you out to a distance and make your way back. When I started, I had my wife, Cortny, drive me to work. I would bring along a bag of workout clothes and tell her I would run home. Regardless of how I felt when it was time to head home, I had little choice. I either made the 7 mile run/walk home, or I had to make a phone call and verbally wuss-out to my wife. I never made that call. Not once! I always think of this as a good way to make your ego work for you.

Set Realistic and Fun Goals: When I am asked what I am doing for training today, I answer first with my true goal, then with my training goal. For instance, “I’m biking to Starved Rock today for a beer. It’ll be about 32 miles.” (By the way, Starved Rock is a state park about 32 miles round trip from my house, and it has a bar!) By doing this, you will quickly find out a couple things. First, that others give you a better reaction – “That sounds like fun!” – and second, that you will have a better feeling about it – “It will be fun!” I’m not focusing on the 32. I’m focusing on the destination, reward, and fun. This one is a big one for me. I never set out without a goal, even if the goal is minor like slapping the population sign of the next town over.

Set Numerous Goals: Let’s say you have the single goal of running a 5K. That’s not as helpful as setting up a string of goals (and make them fun like above). First you might have the goal of running to the local park (1 mile total), then have a goal of being able to run to the pizza place and meet your family for dinner (2 miles), and finally a goal of running to your friend’s house 3 miles way, just so you can walk in and say, “I ran here!”

Explore: I personally hate running the same course twice in a row or even twice in the same couple weeks. You are sabotaging yourself if you set out to do the same thing over and over. Seeing the same scenery over and over. Go a different way every time if you can. Drive to other towns to train. Look up routes on the internet. Ask about fun places to run, bike, hike, etc. Get excited about what you can and will see. It will make a big difference.

Take Advantage of All Weather (it’s fun!): When you were a kid you knew this. You just might have forgotten. Splashing in puddles is fun. Running in snow is fun. Hot days mean you can wear less clothes, and cold ones mean you get to wear that new coat you got. If you wait for the perfect day, it will come once a year. Once a year is not enough training time for anything. Enjoy every day for its challenges and excitement. Ironically, then when that one day does come, you will be ready to enjoy it even more.

Buy Some Stuff: I am a gear junky. I am addicted to the stuff. I love new shirts, new pants, new shoes, a new helmet, and so on. I admit it. It can have a huge effect on me. A new shirt can get me through many a run. Obviously, you can’t buy something every time you want to exercise, but you can buy something when you start to get sick of exercising. New shoes need to be broken in, new shirts tested for fit, etc.

ABOVE ALL, do not just settle on one way to motivate yourself. Find new ways to make your workouts fun. Find new reasons to get outside and move. On any given day you will need to be flexible, inventive, creative, and iron-willed. There will be days when you will fail, but each new day will offer you new chances to succeed. I like to mock Yoda (Star Wars reference) when he said, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” As wise as he seemed to be, he was dead wrong. There is only try.

Chad Hannon

Coolibar Athlete Chad Hannon Biking
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Coolibar Athletes

Getting Active in Summer

I always look forward to the summer. After slogging through many training runs in the cold dark winter months, it is always a great feeling when I get out the door for that first run in just shorts and a t-shirt! Summer is a great time to get outside and be active. Summer can also present many distractions that can keep us from maintaining a good exercise program as well! Pool parties, barbeques, kids activities and long weekends away. These things can easily sneak up on you and get you out of your routine.

The thing we love so much about summer can also be our biggest adversary – HEAT!  High temps offer a great excuse not to get out and be active. Here are a few things I do to keep myself motivated and active during those summer months:

Start Early:  Last summer I started most of my runs at 5 a.m. to take advantage of the cooler temps. This also works for me because my workout is done and out of the way and not there looming over me the rest of the day. Another advantage is I am not running in strong, direct sunlight at this hour, therefore I am being sun aware and taking care of my skin!

Find a partner:  It is always more fun to have someone to train with. You have someone there to talk to and also most of us feel more secure having a buddy with us rather than being out there by ourselves. This is also good for accountability! Knowing you have someone you have to meet for your workout will give you motivation to get out there and do it!

Set Goals:  This is a great motivator for me! I always schedule races throughout the year to keep me in a good training cycle. Having something to work toward will keep you focused and inspired. Share your goals with friends so people will know about it! This will help prevent you from slacking off, knowing your buddies will give you a hard time about it. (Especially if you have friends like mine!)

Mix It Up:  Incorporate some cross training to keep things fresh. I usually mix in some mountain biking, hiking and weight training when I want a day off from running but still want to be active.

So take advantage of all summer has to offer! Stay active, motivated, hydrated and inspired. Most of all have fun out there and please be sun aware!

Gene Meade

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Coolibar Athletes

Motivation to stay healthy, fit and active

Living in a Northern climate means enduring several months of cold temps waiting for summer to return.  My motivation to get active during the summer starts in the winter, while reflecting on past year experiences and making plans for the coming year.  This reminds me that every time I go to the fitness center, I am there with a purpose in mind.  I know that every rep in the gym is going to help me power through surf in my kayak, climb that long hill on the mountain bike or make it easier to haul a 55-pound backpack up a mountain.

All that work in the gym makes the moments that will last a lifetime possible.  I experienced the thrill of launching from the shore through breaking surf, poring over the bow of my kayak.  I stood 6 feet from a herd of deer while riding my mountain bike, neither of us wanting to give up the trail. I watched the sunrise from 11,000 feet above sea level. I got caught in wicked thunderstorms and sleet storms. I witnessed the absolute silence of the winter woods after a big snowfall.  I watched coyotes, eagles, and hawks when they didn’t realize anyone was watching.  I waded through waist deep water fully clothed at one time and waist deep snow at another. I felt the pride of accomplishment in reaching my own goals.

As a trainer, I am frequently asked how to stay motivated.  Many of the people I train are looking for weight loss and they see the gym as the only way to achieve their goals.  However, spending all your time in the gym doing the same activities time and time again can lead to boredom.  Fortunately, Coolibar’s clothing can help you enjoy the outdoors while minimizing the impact of the sun.  I encourage people to experiment with different outdoor activities that light up their passion. Think outside the box and consider more than walking or running. Try canoeing, kayaking, geocaching, orienteering, frisbee, golf, road biking, mountain biking or bird watching. The list is endless.

John Chase

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New Products What's Hot

vera SUNTECT – the fashionable side of sunwear

Have you heard of Coolibar’s latest and greatest fabric?

vera SUNTECT® – A remarkably soothing fabric that feels like cashmere, then combined with a touch of spandex for comfort and shape retention. Tight weave construction blocks 98% UVA and UVB rays (UPF 50+ protection), plus it keeps you cooler than ordinary women’s fashions with a natural look and feel perfect for any occasion.

Sounds great – right? Being released only two weeks ago, we’ve already had a great response from the first customers to buy.  Michael Hubsmith, Coolibar’s Executive V.P. of Merchandising, has been creating new technical Coolibar UPF 50+ fabrics for years, so we decided to ask more about his and the merchandising team’s new creation.

What does vera bring to the Coolibar SUNTECT® line of fabrics? – We viewed this fabric as a luxury sun protective fabric: soft, silky and cool to the touch– sort of a cashmere like quality version of SUNTECT® compared to ZnO SUNTECT®, which is like a merino wool quality in common sportswear terminology. We see it as primarily a women’s casual sportswear fabric.

Vera Shores Tunic

What is it made of? Or why is it so great, soft and cool!? The fibers are a micro cellulose (poplar trees) base. It is considered bio-based rather than natural because, though the raw materials used to make it are natural, they are processed in order to be made into fibers.

What type of garments are we making with it now and in the future? Vera SUNTECT® is a knit fabric and generally knits are softer, more drapeable, and more breathable than woven fabrics . We have maximized these attributes with the Vera fiber because it is also lightweight and has a “cool to the touch” feeling. We will use this fabric in women’s styles.

What are the benefits of wearing vera SUNTECT® over ordinary women’s fashions? We have not sacrificed fashion for sun protective function in vera SUNTECT®.

Shop vera SUNTECT® here.

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Coolibar Athletes

Support for your active lifestyle

I love to run alone. However, my advice when starting a new workout is find a buddy or a group. For an outgoing person it can be a great way to meet new people while engaging in a new workout. Some people assume you have to give 100 percent when you are in a group fitness class or run club member. However, that is not the case. We are all out there to have fun.

As a Minnesotan, I would suggest outdoor summer workouts. Morning yoga on a beach can be breathe-taking! Kayaking is another group activity that can be thought of as more fun than work. Swimming in the lakes is another favorite of mine. Additionally, I love new hiking trails. They don’t say, “Explore Minnesota,” in TV commercials for nothing!

If you have trouble with crowds and people, or find it hard to get motivated to get out. My advice would be to start at your local animal shelter. Saving a life not only feels great! Dogs are natural stress relievers. They are always excited to see you and are the best buddy for a walk in the morning, afternoon, or in the evening when the end of a stressful work day has a tendency to direct you to the couch. Dogs redirect you! I love my two sled dogs.

Beyond needing my dogs to stay active and reduce my post-traumatic stress disorder, I joined Lifetime Fitness’s Masters Swim three days a week at a time even my dogs aren’t awake yet at. I was hesitant, as I love to workout alone. However, it was the best cross training decision I have made! My vascular system performance in master’s swim class has surpassed what I could have done solely on the road.   Having a swimming buddy in the pool helps keep me on track, motivated, safe, and focused on my greater goal to run across the country.

Additionally, I think some people may expect a great workout to be boring, awful or not something to look forward too. My advice is find things to help support your active lifestyle:

#1- Get a workout buddy

#2- Find a support group or club that is not intimidating

#3- Reward yourself with workout clothing that makes you feel great when working out

#4- Rescue a dog to get you outdoors every season of the year

#5- Think about your workout as “If I can do this today? What could I do tomorrow?”

#6- Take advantage of today! As we get older, we will miss out on things because life can become more limiting. Get out there and make today amazing however you see fit!

Get out there and enjoy the summer weather!

Ally Loisel Murray

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE

Tanning bed legislation – where are we now?

This week, the Connecticut Health Committee passed a bill they hope will ban teens from tanning beds. The state senate and house still need to pass the bill before it becomes state law. Nationally, anti-tanning bed regulations have increased significantly over the past decade due to rapidly increasing skin cancer rates and new studies on the negative health effects of indoor tanning.

Also in the news this week, New Jersey officially signed their teen tanning bed ban into law. Now, no one under 17 years of age will be able to use a UV tanning bed. Curious where your state stands?

Tanning bed legislation in the U.S.

  • 5/2/2012, Vermont became the second state to ban indoor tanning for those 18 years and younger.
  • 10/9/2011, California became the first state to prohibit indoor tanning for children under age 18.
  • As of today, over 30 states restrict indoor tanning use by minors.

National Conference of State Legislatures Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors (July 2012)

Resources:
1. Norwich Bulletin
2. Washington Post
3. American Academy of Dermatology
4. National Conference of State Legislatures

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Expert Rx

Dermatologic skin care for your 20s, 30s…60s and beyond

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis, M.D., F.A.A.D. of Uptown Dermatology in Minneapolis talks dermatologic care for your skin at every age.

Skin cancer is a concern across all ages and is being seen more and more in younger people, especially among those who have ever used tanning beds.

Excessive ultraviolet light exposure, natural or artificial, not only increases skin cancer risk, but also prematurely ages the skin. It does so by breaking down the skin’s collagen and elastin causing wrinkling.

Ultraviolet light also stimulates pigment production (tanning), which is the skin’s way of trying to protect its deeper layers from the damaging effects of UV rays (burning). This pigment can often be blotchy and irregular.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see that many skin conditions typically thought of as “age related” are actually “sun damage” related. And while sun damage typically increases with age, giving some truth to the idea that blotchy, wrinkled skin is ‘old’ skin, sun protected skin will stay younger looking even into old age. Proof; take a peek at the sun protected skin of the buttocks and compare this to the face or forearms. The skin is the same age, but has had vastly different sun exposure. Hence the sun exposed skin seems “aged” in comparison.

Now let’s look at some conditions that can affect your skin over the years. Be sure to visit a Board Certified Dermatologist if you have concerns about any of the following;

20s – 30s 

Melasma: This blotchy brown spots on upper lip, cheeks, and forehead is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” due to hormonal influences on pigment production. This can happen during pregnancy or while on birth control pills. Sun protection is an essential part of treatment which can also include skin lightening agents such as topical hydroquinone and retinoid creams. For stubborn melasma, laser treatments can be helpful in addition to topical medications.

Acne Rosacea: Best known as “adult acne” this can involve breakouts and facial flushing in response to triggers such as sun exposure, overheating, spicy foods, red wine, and stress. Daily sun protection helps minimize redness as does recognizing and minimizing triggers. Your doctor has several treatment options if these initial steps are not enough to stop the breakouts and flushing.

40s – 50s

Fine lines & Wrinkles: Ultraviolet light slowly breaks down collagen and elastin fibers and reduces the skin’s elasticity. Sun protection is key to preventing this, but use of topical vitamin C, peptides and retinoids can be helpful. Resurfacing treatments such as chemical peels or fractional laser peels are also effective.

Expression Lines: Over the years expression lines can become etched into the skin by the repeated movements of facial muscles. These are easily remedied by injecting small amounts of purified botulinum toxin protein to soften the pull of the muscles. Chronic sun damage tends to exaggerate these expression lines due to the loss of the sun damaged skin’s elasticity.

Man with sun damage to one half of his face due to his occupation as a driver. It shows how the sun damage ages the skin, not just age!

60s – 70s 

Brown Spots: Freckles & spotty discoloration of the skin are caused by long term sun exposure. These are sometimes called ‘liver spots’ due to their brown color. Sunscreen is the best prevention, but treatments similar to those mentioned for Melasma can be very helpful.

Dryness: The hormonal changes during and after menopause can result in reduced facial oil production and dryness of the skin. Cream based moisturizers rather than lotions are most helpful.

Facial Volume Loss: Over time, the apples of the cheeks can lose their roundness, especially in slender women. The sunken facial appearance can be corrected with injections of volumizing fillers, such as Sculptra or Radiesse. These fillers stimulate collagen production under the skin restoring a natural fullness.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

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Partner Athletes Sevve Stember

Rock Climbing Season Opener: Granddad’s Bluff

By Sevve Stember, Rock Climbing Expert:

After a fantastic winter of skiing on fresh snow and training harder than past season, I was ready to focus on other things.  March saw me in my home climbing gym, Vertical Endeavors, logging a lot of time on the climbing wall to build endurance, which was definitely lacking.  Since I only climbed once/week this winter, I focused on building my power.  To do this, I primarily bouldered (climbing close to the ground with crash pads as protection instead of belay ropes) and I definitely saw gains from this focused training.  Spring was slow to come and each weekend in March I would get excited to go climbing outside, only to see temperatures below 30 or a wintery mix falling from the sky.  So when my partner in crime, Bobby, and I saw temperatures around 37 projected for Saturday, we couldn’t help but get super psyched.

Throughout the week we nervously checked the weather for La Crosse, WI where we hoped to go.  I shot another couple of friends texts to see if they wanted to join.  Most didn’t.  “You guys are crazy!   It’s going to be too cold.  What if it’s wet?” were some of the naysayer’s comments.  We knew better than to fear a little chill.

As Sean, Bobby, and I left Minneapolis around 7:30AM, Sean said, “I’ve finally found people that are as psyched as I am!”  Sean felt the energy in the car as it sprinted south.  Blue skies, red tail hawks, and open prairies greeted us along the way.

Once we arrived at Granddad’s Bluff, which sits above La Crosse, I kicked on my mukluks to navigate the snowy approach trail.  We walked up to the wall.  DRY!  Many comments about how smart and clever we were for getting outside followed.  After a short warm up, Sean and I talked about what to do next.

I had unfinished business from last season called Brown Reason to Live (5.12d).  Last season, on December 1st, I had figured out all the moves late in the day, but lacked the power to send (climb the route without falling or weighting the rope) the route.  Sean was going to try to flash (climb it first try, having never climbed the route before) the route so I had the task of hanging the quick draws from the protection bolts.  As I tied into the rope, Sean and I talked about the pros and cons of trying to send a route while hanging draws.  My past experiences lead me to never rule out sending while hanging draws.

Sevve Stember climbing Granddad's Bluff Sevve Stember climbing Granddad’s Bluff

Sean put me on belay and I climbed the opening moves, which I had virtually memorized.  The first part of the route does not tap into my power much and there’s a large rest after three bolts.  I shook out at “the shield” hold and gazed up at the first crux (hardest technical sequence of a route).  I moved quickly through the first crux, feeling strong and smooth.  Soon, I was staring the final protection bolt and final crux in the face.  I heard Sean give some encouragement below, which helped focus my efforts for the final moves.  My right hand made a long reach up to a thin pinch.  I hit the pinch, moved my left foot up, found the thin hold for my left hand, and hit the final jug (large hold) confidently with my right hand.  Clipping the anchors, I looked out over the beautiful spring landscape and took it all in.  Sending a route that you’ve put days of effort into is always a reminder to me that success takes hard work.  Good thing I didn’t rule out the send while hanging draws.

Sean made a valiant effort, nearly flashing the route.  Bobby worked super hard on his project Big Man on Campus (5.12a) and made some definite progress.  Next, Sean and I spent some time on The Man in Black Pajamas (5.13a).  We both did all the moves and felt like one more day on the route would be all we needed to send it.  Later in the day, some other friends of ours joined us, which made for some added fun and laughs.  A Midwest climbing icon, Dave Groth, even stopped by and told us some compelling tales about establishing first ascents in the 70’s.

As we drove home, we all felt tired, exerted, and satisfied.  We’d harnessed all of our pent-up energy and had a rewarding day.  The whole experience epitomized why I climb: meaningful interactions with friends, working to help each other succeed, spending time outside enjoying fresh air, and learning about myself through the lens of a challenging climbing objective.  The outdoor climbing season has opened and it couldn’t have been better.

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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

Don’t be fooled by sunscreen labels any longer!

This April Fools, we’re not fooling around – at least about sunscreen. Almost two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their new sunscreen labeling requirements (first announced June 14, 2011), we’re now seeing both small and large sunscreen vendors roll-out new labeling, packaging, and in some cases, improved products. These changes will allow consumers to better understand a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVA and UVB sun damage, skin cancer and skin aging.

Our friends at the American Academy of Dermatology did an excellent job of outlining many of these changes:

Skin cancer prevention versus sunburn protection

On the label, you’ll see whether a sunscreen can:

– Help prevent skin cancer and sunburn.

– Only help prevent sunburn.

That’s thanks to new FDA testing requirements. For a label to claim that a sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it will have to pass two tests.

1. The first test is the broad-spectrum test. This test shows whether a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause skin cancer.

2. The second test is the sun protection factor (SPF) test. This test shows how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. Like today, you’ll see the SPF as a number, such as SPF 30. All sunscreen must offer some SPF. The minimum is SPF 2.

New warning: For a sunscreen to carry the claim that it can prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it must offer both: 1) broad-spectrum coverage and 2) an SPF of 15 or higher. If the sunscreen does not offer both, the label will have to carry this warning:

“This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

Water resistance

The FDA will ban companies from claiming that a sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” This is simply not possible.

You’ll now see the term “water resistant.” To make this claim, the product must pass another test. This test shows how long a sunscreen keeps its SPF when a person goes in the water or sweats. The label also must state how long the water resistance lasts, either 40 or 80 minutes.

New warning: If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the label must carry a warning. This warning will tell you to use a water-resistant sunscreen if you are likely to sweat or be in water.

Makeup and moisturizers

You’ll see the new claims on makeup and moisturizers, too — provided the product undergoes and passes the FDA tests.

Vanicream SPF 50+No ratings above SPF 50+

A proposed rule, if enforced, will limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +” because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.

All Coolibar sunscreen brands will be making changes to their packaging to be in compliance with new FDA guidelines.  For example, Vanicream SPF 60 will be replaced by Vanicream SPF 50+. If you have any specific questions about your favorite sunscreen brand sold on http://www.coolibar.com/, ‘Leave a reply’ below or comment at http://www.facebook.com/coolibar

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Parenting SunAWARE

Preventing A Pediatric Disease – Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a preventable pediatric disease if sun protective habits start at an early age. Children spend more time outside than adults. As a result, most sun damage occurs before age 18. Chicago based Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation (PSPF) is educating children and families on the importance of sun protection – to end skin cancer one child at a time.

 “My children are in day camp all summer, and I wanted them to wear swim shirts daily,” said Founder of PSPF and Board Certified Dermatologist Amy Brodsky, M.D. “I thought if we could start a trend and have all campers wear them, my kids would not complain that they were the only ones,” she said of where the initial idea for the organization stemmed from.   

Amy Brodsky, MD Amy Brodsky, MD

Through PSPF, Dr. Brodsky shows other parents having your kid wear sun protective clothing is important for lifelong healthy skin. “You wouldn’t send your children out on a bicycle without a bike helmet, so why would you send them to camp and the swimming pool without a swim shirt,” said Dr. Brodsky.

Formed January 2012, PSPF has since created programs to promote sun protection awareness. PSPF’s website allows parents and children to adopt the practice of wearing sun protective clothing by providing information and accessibility to affordable sun protective products through partner vendors. A PSA campaign to promote the organization’s mission is also in the works.  “The next steps are to partner with clothing distributors and recruit a celebrity to create commercial and PSAs,” said Dr. Brodsky. “I also plan to talk via TV, radio and schools about our cause.  Our key message to parents is that skin cancer is a pediatric disease; and if sun protective habits start early, skin cancer can be prevented.”

June 2, 2013, PSPF will be at the Chicago Cubs game promoting Play Sun Smart with Major League Baseball and the American Academy of Dermatology.  For more information about the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation and upcoming events visit http://www.pediatricspf.org/.

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