So far in April we have one exciting new item to talk about, which is our 2014 summer catalog; it’s starting to ship this week! Which would logically lead to another exciting thing: it’s baseball season again!
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that has baseball – major league or not – you might be thinking, like we are, about lots of days outside (hopefully) in the sun, watching your favorite teams (hopefully) skyrocket to glory on the diamond. Are you ready?
Here in Minnesota, we’ve been relatively sheltered – no really, we mean sheltered – when it comes to outdoor baseball. This is just the fifth season for Target Field in Minneapolis, where we can finally watch the Twins play baseball outside. In the 29 years before Target Field, professional baseball was strictly a domed sport in these parts.
So actually we have three more exciting things we like to talk about: baseball opening day, which here will be on April 7; the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will be held here in mid-July; and sun safety, which is everywhere all the time.
How Long Is Too Long?
According to the Boston Globe the average baseball game lasts two hours, 58 minutes. Why so long? Should the game be shortened? Should there be rules against, say, batters re-adjusting every piece of equipment between pitches?
We don’t know! But we do know that this is a lot of time to be directly under the sun without protection, even at the very beginning of the season. If you’re planning to attend some outdoor games this summer, it’s time to stock up on some UPF 50+ sun protective gear. May we suggest a sun hat? Perhaps a light, breezy shirt that keeps you cool even in the sun (we have them for men, too)?
This is just to get you started. But the fact is, fans of baseball – like fans of tennis, or golf or any other sport that involves being outdoors – should always be aware of sun safety. Here again, in honor of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, are our official SunAware tips:
Just like you and the rest of the world, I love food. But I like it even more if it is providing me with some kind of health benefit. Even if that health benefit is just to make me smile, or have beautiful glowing skin.
Our skin is one of the most powerful indicators of health. Wrinkles, dry or oily skin, acne and inflammation are all signs of poor internal health. They are also side effects that no amount of money spent on fancy skin care products can fix. Instead, focusing on whole foods, rich in vitamins and minerals lays the foundation for healthy, young-looking skin.
Let’s take a look at the some of the foods I incorporate into my diet to give my freckled face a little bit of glow.
1. Salmon or other fatty fish: Salmon is extremely high in omega-3s, an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids must be obtained in the diet because the body cannot produce its own essential fats. These fats are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility. I roast salmon filets in the oven (sometimes on a cedar plank to enhance the flavor) and try to do this 2-3 times a week.
2. Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which is highly effective at reducing free radical damage. Free radicals form in the body when we are over-exposed to sun and pollution, and these nasty buggers can cause wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. For that matter, I try to eat oranges, grapefruits or sliced bell peppers for snacks, all plentiful in vitamin C.
3. Avocados: Is there anything better than the rich, buttery taste of a perfectly ripe avocado? I think not. In fact, I often just cut one in half, sprinkle on some coarse sea salt and go to town on it with a spoon. But besides their incredible taste, avocados are rich in vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant that can reduce the effects of sun exposure and hydrate dry, rough skin.
4. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes proper repair and maintenance of the skin, and can actually offset the appearance of a dry, flaky complexion. I cube sweet potatoes (skin and all), drizzle with olive oil and rosemary and roast them in the oven for a delicious, vitamin-A filled accompaniment to dinner.
5. Eggs: Eggs, in any form, are delicious and one of those foods that can be eaten at any time of the day. Not only are they incredibly satiating, they are full of zinc. Zinc is a mineral that is required for proper immune function, and can actually control the production of oil in the skin. Those who suffer from acne, especially, can benefit from including more zinc in the diet. Move out of the way, Neutrogena!
You really are what you eat, and since we can’t really serve ourselves up some Blake Lively on a platter, we might as well go the more natural route to achieve that beautiful, health, glow we all yearn for!
Hannah Grinaker is dedicated to fitness, health and, of course, food. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota and pursues an undergrad degree (her third) in dietetics and a masters degree in health at North Dakota State University. She is a soon-to-be-registered dietician and a lifelong-registered redhead. You can reach Hannah through her blog at http://www.fitgingersnap.com.
We work hard here at Coolibar. So just in case you should think life here is all water, sun, models and Coolibar clothing…well, okay, it is sometimes.
Here are some candid photos of us – working very hard! – from our recent shoot in Islamorada, Florida. If you look closely you’ll catch a glimpse of some of our new UPF 50+ apparel for summer 2014!
Look for your Coolibar summer catalog in your mailbox starting March 31! Coolibar catalogs may arrive anytime during April, May or June. New summer items will also appear continually on our website at www.coolibar.com.
Minnesota, I’ve come to realize, is the nordic skiing capital of the United States. I came to this epiphany when my wife and I moved from Minneapolis to Denver last summer. Which is to say, there’s really not any nordic skiing here unless you drive up into the Rockies and hunt down some snow at high elevation. And training at 9,000 feet above sea level, whether trail running, hiking or nordic skiing, is entirely different than doing cardiovascular fitness in Minnesota at 900 feet.
Needless to say, it was quite an adjustment to begin training for my annual tradition: skiing America’s largest cross country ski marathon, the American Birkebeiner in Cable, Wisconsin.
Lesson one for altitude training: Be flexible. Adjust your pace when necessary, and don’t be tied to a particular pace. Instead, focus on completing a sustainable pace that is manageable and comfortable.
One of my first experiences training at high altitude was when my college ski teammate, Tyler, and I went on a trail run in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes, Colorado. We started out jogging along this beautiful ridge with fantastic views in the distance. Eventually, our trail made a steep descent down into a valley. We were doing an out and back jog, and so on the way back we had to adjust our pace and do more of a “run-walk” trail run. In other words, run when you can, walk when you must.
Lesson two: Acclimate; the longer the better.
An experience forever burned into my memory from last summer’s climbing season was my one-day ascent of “The Casual Route” (5.10a, 1,000 ft. of technical climbing) on the Diamond of Longs Peak in RMNP, which incidentally is more than 14,000 feet high at the summit. My climbing partner, Dan, came from low elevation. On the approach, which we began at 2 a.m., Dan struggled a bit and developed a headache. He had not spent more than a day or two at altitude and went from relatively low elevation right up to Estes Park at 7,500 feet. Dan is simply a really strong dude and he toughed it out, linking pitches 2 and 3 which turned out to be a breakthrough lead that allowed us to summit. However, despite his success, he admitted some more time to acclimate would’ve been ideal.
Lesson three: Expect long sustained climbs. There’s not much for “rolling” hills in these parts, or in most parts at high altitude.
The first day my wife and I had on snow was at Eldora’s Nordic Center near Nederland. As usual, my excitement for skiing led to me “hammering” up the first hill we encountered. Soon, my wife and I were both going anaerobic – taking in less oxygen than we were using – at a pace that was not sustainable. The Eldora Mountain Resort, as we came to know, is notorious for being exceptionally hilly. As we continued to ski in the Rockies, we noticed that the topography of ski trails in Colorado is extremely different than Minnesota. The climbs are more sustained; the descents are quicker.
Lesson four: when racing at altitude for the first time, ease into your race. It’s far too easy to burn yourself out early in the game.
We kicked off the ski racing season at the Frisco Nordic Center in Colorado’s Summit County. The gun went off, and I hammered out somedouble pole strokes. Soon we were skate skiing up a long gradual hill. I quickly took the lead in the 30km ski race. It’s funny how you forget many of the lessons we’ve already learned throughout the course of our life. After the initial excitement of the mass start wore off, I realized I was in trouble. I had gone out too fast and was at an anaerobic level. The rest of the race was a STRUGGLE!
Tip for the Lips
Colorado is quite a bit south of Minnesota and I’ve noticed I burn a lot easier here than I do in Minnesota. The sun’s rays are simply more direct year round. Additionally, even when it’s winter and you think it’s not so easy to burn, the snow reflects a lot of rays into your face. I’ve learned it’s essential to apply an SPF lip protectant early and often while out doing a training session.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the transition from the flatlands of Minnesota to the front range of the Rockies. Nothing’s black and white; there are aspects of the Midwest that are simply way better than Colorado, such as easy access to world-class cross country skiing. Colorado is simply a more inspiring place in a day-to-day sense. While here, I plan to apply the lessons I’ve learned about training at altitude and I certainly will continue to figure out how to maximize performance.
Sevve Stember is a climbing expert and multiple-sport athlete who has established climbing routes in the Andes, the Sierra Nevadas and several other mountain ranges. A former park ranger, Sevve also pursues camping, soccer and cross country skiing. Sevve is a 6th-grade science teacher at Cole Middle School in Denver, Colorado. He lives there with his wife, Andrea, also an accomplished cross country skier. His previous posts for Coolibar include “Why Climbing Matters.”
Summer is fast approaching, the days getting longer, and temperatures will begin to rise. Training in the heat is inevitable and in some cases practically unavoidable (I live in Las Vegas where heat is “normal”). If you are faced with training in the heat there are a few things to consider in keeping yourself cool and safe while training.
What to Wear
The sun is at its highest between 10am and 4pm. It is best to avoid these times. Always wear sunscreen, and reapply. Dark colors absorb the heat; wear white or light UV protective clothing (the Coolibar Cool Fitness Shirt is a perfect example) to reflect the sun’s rays. Wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Know your sweat loss rate. Weigh yourself before and after a workout to know how much sweat you lose and replenish with this amount. Cramping is a sign of mineral loss, so make sure you are taking in an electrolyte sports drink to keep you hydrated and replenish minerals lost in sweat.
Tips & Tricks
Help keep the body cool by pouring cold water over pulse points in the wrist and back of the neck. Also pour over the top of the head – a majority of the body’s heat is released through the top of the head. That being said, be sure to wear a ventilated hat so heat can escape and is not trapped. There are cooling neckbands that you submerge in water to provide long-term cooling. In extreme heat situations, I have frozen my wristbands and then continued to pour water over them as I trained. Their absorbent nature keeps the cool water on my pulse points. I have participated in extreme heat races and the race organizers have provided cooling stations and ice towels.
Watch for Heat Stress
Be aware of warning signs of heat stress and have an emergency plan in place (carry a phone; wear an ID bracelet with emergency contact information).
Warning signs of heat stress and heat related illnesses (dehydration, hypernatremia, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps) include but are not limited to: muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, cold and/or clammy skin, fainting, fast or weak pulse, hot red dry or moist skin, and even unconsciousness.
Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with playing it 100% safe and taking your training indoors. You won’t skip a beat in your training and you can train safely without worrying about sun damage and heat related stress and illnesses.
Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun!
Kristie Cranford, CPT, ITCA, is a marathoner and triathlete, wife, mother, friend and multiple cancer survivor, but people call her “Coach.” A Certified Personal Trainer, Lifestyle Weight Management Specialist and running and triathlon coach, Kristie instructs family, friends and clients through fitness, relationships, life crises, parenting and everything else. She can be reached through her blog at coachkristie.com or her email at CoachKristieLV@yahoo.com.
It used to be that when some of us went on spring break, getting lots of sun was the point. Or part of the point, sort of; but we digress.
Now, taking into account all that science says about wrinkles and melanoma and such, this is our best advice: Let’s be sensible. But while we’re at it, let’s also still be fabulous!
Here is our list of essential UPF 50+ sun protective Coolibar items to take with you on your sun safe spring break:
Quarter Zip Swim Shirt. If you hadn’t considered a top like this for actual swimming, go right ahead. Fabric is resistant to chlorine (for the pool) and saltwater (for the ocean) and dries quickly (for any body of water). On land, it just looks awesome.
Skirted Swim Capri. Protects against UVA and UVB.Stays comfortable in and out of water. Catches lots of eyes.Yup…this is new-school spring break gear all right.
Swim Cover Up
Coastline Dress. The beauty of this dress – besides the fact that it’s, you know, beautiful – is that you can keep wearing it long after you’ve used it as a swim cover up. You don’t even need to be near the water.
ZnO Beach Pants. Another thing we’ve learned while planning for spring break: wearing your swimsuit for an entire week isn’t as easy as you think. Hence these beach pants – as comfy as your sweat pants but much, much prettier.
Boardwalk Jacket. Why this jacket? Because you always look cool, casual and composed. Even on spring break – the official home of spontaneous hot-and-cold adventure.
ZnO Long-Sleeve T-Shirt. It’s like a regular t-shirt, only it’s cut for your figure. And it’s softer. And more breathable. And it coordinates better. It’s like your best friend, if your best friend also protected you from the sun.
Smith Serpico Slim. Seriously. How do you go on any spring break without at least one item named “Serpico Slim?” Plus these Smith Optics sunglasses block 100% of UV rays.
Antigua Tunic. No, you don’t have to be on break in Antigua to pull this off. In fact, it fits in (and on) pretty much anywhere.
We’re packing our bags, and our booth! The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is holding its 72nd Annual Meeting March 21 – 25 in Denver, Colorado. We’ll be there. Will you?
We know we’ll be in good company. Coolibar is one of more than 400 exhibitors this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing you.
There are also dozens of events and scientific sessions on dermatology and related topics at the convention center and the Hyatt Regency Denver.
You can find Coolibar at Booth #716 in the exhibit hall at the Colorado Convention Center – stop in and say hi. While you’re there, we’ll be happy to show you our latest sun protective clothing products!
So you have fair skin. You may have skin that we sometimes refer to as “porcelain” or “alabaster.” You might be borderline flammable. You might even be Irish. And the spring sun is coming fast, in its ultraviolet glory. What can you do?
A Brief (But Fair) History
We believe our distant ancestors were trying to give us clues about this.
Some people think that the earliest humans were naturally fair-skinned (but quite hairy). Since they lived where the sun radiates strong UV radiation year round, these people were forced to develop more melanin (the dark pigment in the skin) as protection from skin cancer.
Others think that everybody started out dark-skinned and gradually lightened up as people migrated to places with less sunlight (fair skin tends to collect vitamin D from the sun more effectively).
Either way the message is clear: sun protection is pretty important.
What Can Be Done
Nowadays, sun protection is also much more elegant. Fair-skinned people are some of our favorite customers here at Coolibar. We love providing fashionable choices for the fair-skinned. For us, St. Patrick’s Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. Well, not quite. But you get the idea.
Check out our Coolibar looks for spring. Notice that we’re not just talking sun hats. We’re talking complete outfits in the lightest, most comfortable fabrics in wearable sun protection. We have beach wraps, tops, swimwear, travel apparel, perhaps the coolest boardshorts you’ve ever seen and much more for men, women and kids – all guaranteed UPF 50+. Where the fair-skinned fear to tread – out in the full sun on a warm day – Coolibar wearers can now stride boldly!
Today, March 3rd, 2014, is World Tennis Day. It is an annual celebration of tennis around the world, and invites people of all ages to get involved in the sport of tennis. According to the International Tennis Federation, 74 countries are involved in World Tennis Day, and the vast majority are hosting events. The centerpieces for World Tennis Day are showdown exhibition matches featuring some of the world’s top tennis pros in New York, Hong Kong and London.
Monday night, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is hosting Tennis Night in America featuring the BNP Paribas Showdown, an exhibition match between world-class tennis pros Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The event takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
World Tennis Day is also the kickoff for USTA Tennis Youth Play Events to encourage family and youth tennis participation. Throughout March, tennis clubs get extra support for hosting youth tennis events including up to $150 in marketing money for first-time events. Find activities planned in your area by visiting www.usta.com or the USTA’s youth tennis event finder.
The Latest Trend: UPF 50+ Clothing
Whether you are a player on the court or a fan at the court, Coolibar can keep you sun safe with our fashion-forward UPF 50+ protective sun hats and clothing.
Here are a few Coolibar “must-haves” for protection on the courts.
The Super Sport Hat, with its 3 3/4″ brim and removable drape, is indispensible. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, and the longer brim gives you more protection than most sport caps. The extra length provides additional protection for your eyes and face on those high serve tosses and lob shots.
You should keep a choice on hand – cotton blend is great for cooler days and lighter matches, while polyester is more moisture wicking for humidity and more strenuous activity.