Events Parenting SunAWARE

Pretty for Prom? Tanning Isn’t Part of the Routine Anymore

Pretty Prom - Coolibar

It’s prom season again, which means thousands of teens – girls and boys – flock to their local indoor tanning salons in search of a healthy glow for the big night out. But before they do, the Skin Cancer Foundation has some information for you about tanning for the prom.

Teens tend to be concerned about young-looking skin, and the SCF points out that 90% of changes to the skin that most people associate with aging are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Tanning leads to wrinkles, spots and an aged look early in life; they can start to appear even before the indoor tanner turns 30.

This doesn’t even touch on the dangers of developing skin cancer, including melanoma. Here are just a few, from SunAWARE:

  • Exposure to tanning beds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%.
  • More than one million people visit tanning salons every day. Of these, approximately 71% are girls and young women aged 16-29.
  • Young women, under the age of 39, have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.
  • Ninety percent of pediatric melanoma cases occur in girls aged 10-19.

What Can You Do Instead?

Through its Go With Your Own GlowTM campaign, the Skin Cancer Foundation promotes skipping the tan altogether – the best look for the prom, or any other time, is your own natural skin color. In case the allure of tan skin is still too great from prom-goers, the foundation also suggests sunless, or UV-free, tanners.

And, if you or someone you know is planning on bronzing up for prom courtesy of an indoor tanning booth, Coolibar has a book for you. Pretty Prom – Your Skin is Pretty Too by Mary Mills Barrow and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen provides a short, convincing account of what’s at stake in exchange for looking tan on prom night.

Coolibar offers Pretty Prom courtesy of SunAWARE. Stay safe, and Stay SunAware!

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Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes

Meet the Coolibar Sponsored Athletes for 2014

Coolibar - Meet the Athletes

Each year, Coolibar proudly sponsors a group of athletes who are uncommonly passionate in pursuit of their chosen sports, and also for personal excellence and healthy outdoor living. Our 2014 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes are some of our finest yet. We’re proud to introduce them today. Stay tuned – you’ll hear much more from and about them throughout 2014!

Stesha Carle

Stesha Carle, 2014 Cooilbar Athlete

Winner of nine international medals, Stesha Carle has participated in rowing races all over the world. Stesha is a native of La Habra, California and rowed for the Long Beach Junior Crew in high school. She was recruited to the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in Motion Science. Following college she trained with the women’s US National rowing team in Princeton, NJ for six years. Currently Stesha trains in California for SoCal Scullers, with a goal of winning gold at the 2016 Olympic Games. Stesha is a project coordinator for Fastech, a rowing machine instructor for Roworx and a personal trainer.  She enjoys running, hiking and exploring sunny California.

Stesha credits rowing with changing her life. Also, her priorities regarding sun protection changed after her father’s surgery to remove melanoma from his cheek – important in a sport that involves being on the water every morning.

Mekia Earle

Mekia Earle - Coolibar Athlete 2014

Born and raised in Honolulu, Mekia Earle has always maintained a love of the outdoors and fitness, as well as a high standard as a healthy role model to the younger generation growing up in Hawaii. She began playing beach volleyball at a young age, and attended college on an athletic scholarship in the Pacific Northwest. Fitness plays a major role in Mekia’s life. She holds a masters degree in Kinesiology and teaches girls physical education for grades 5 – 8 at Punahou School on Oahu; she also coaches and does color commentary for high school volleyball programs and works out every day to stay fit.

Mekia says that almost everyone who grew up in Hawaii has been affected by skin cancer directly or indirectly. As a wife (her husband recently had skin cancer removed from his neck) and a mother of two children, she is committed to imparting knowledge, awareness and understanding about healthy lifestyles and being smart about the sun.

 Jim Webster

Jim Webster, Long Range Rifle Marksman, Coolibar Athlete 2014

Jim Webster grew up in the Catskills of central New York, where the surroundings and his dad instilled in him a great love and respect for the outdoors. During many fishing outings he learned how to read the water, to spot changes in the environment and most of all what it means to be a conservationist. These skills translated into the patience, observation and practice required to become a marksman, as well as the respect for equipment and the responsibility to firearms safety. He says his dad’s insistence on reviewing the range rules lessened his youthful curiosity about firearms and at the same time broadened his respect for them. Since 2011 Jim has specialized in long range shooting competitions. He has won seven gold medals in 2012 and 14 more in 2013. He is the 2013 NY State F-T/R Long Range champion, and plans to compete in the US Nationals in Arizona in fall 2014. In the near future Jim hopes to open his own marksmanship academy for students of any experience or shooting discipline, with a consistent focus on safety and responsibility.

Jim lives in New York state with his wife Molly and daughter Katie (both very goodmarkswomen in their own right) and enjoys hiking, escaping to the beach and fishing with friends in Rhode Island…all good tests for Coolibar’s complete line of UV protective clothing.

Valerie Stewart

Valerie Stewart - Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athletes

Valerie grew up a self-described tomboy on a big wheat farm in Washington State. She waterskiied on the Snake River, rode horses bareback, and found plenty of potentially dangerous fun. However, Valerie found no outlet for formal sports until she was 40 years old, with an eight-month-old baby, and began snowboarding.  Soon hopelessly addicted, Valerie competed in the Lake Tahoe division of USASA (United States of America Snowboard  Association) and medaled at every competition; she went on to compete and medal at the national level for the next six seasons.Valerie is the owner of Pow Productions, a video production company that has produced two international snowboarding videos, “Hips That Rip” and “Outlaws to Olympians;” the latter received an award at the 20th Annual Telly Awards.

Valerie belongs to several groups that kayak the rivers, lakes, and bays of northern California. She also enjoys yoga. She says, “When I’m physically active, I feel free, happy, strong, capable, confident, and young.”

Trey Seibold

Trey Seibold, Tennis - Cooilbar Athlete 2014

Born and raised in Florida, Trey Seibold picked up a tennis racquet during college and has never looked back; he has been a professional tennis instructor for the past 25 years.

In addition, Trey participates in triathlons and races surf skis. He’s placed in every race that he competed in this year. His goal is to constantly improve in every aspect of his personal and professional life.

Trey lives in Fort Lauderdale with his wife and three stepchildren. Trey works and trains outdoors seven days a week, so sun protection extremely important. Six months ago he discovered Coolibar and has been wearing it ever since. Coolibar is not only protecting him from the sun, keeps him cool and feeling comfortable since he wears it up to 11 hours! Trey wants to share the importance of sun protection to everyone he works with.

Jerry Leonard

Jerry Leonard, Coach, Coolibar Athlete 2014

Jerry Leonard is a three-time Louisiana state power lifting champion and the athletic director at Salmen High School – his alma mater – where he has been a high school football coach, biology and physiology & anatomy teacher for over 20 years.

He grew up in south Louisiana and spent a great deal of time outside, playing sports and enjoying the outdoors. Jerry is an avid golfer and fitness enthusiast. When he is not outside for work-related activities, he’s usually outside enjoying recreation with his family.

Jerry says Coolibar is a great partner for him to enjoy his time in the sun and protect himself from sun damage. Jerry says, “I like the idea of being able to wear cool and comfortable clothing in the Louisiana heat while being fully protected. Coolibar has given me the ability to enjoy my time outside, do my job, and limit my exposure to the harmful effects of the sun…much to the approval of my dermatologist.”

Leslie Jackson

Leslie Jackson, SUP, Coolibar Athlete 2014

Growing up in SoCal, Leslie Jackson always thought of the beach as her “happy place.” Today, it’s her gym. A not-so-typical mother of two in Carlsbad, California, Leslie began standup paddleboarding (SUP) in early 2013 and quickly graduated to SUP racing. She has a passion for fitness, the ocean and the outdoors, and incorporates SUP into her other pursuits including interval or cross training and yoga.

Her inspiration for activity likely comes from the medical equipment business she owns with her husband, which for many years has served people with disabilities. Recently the business has broadened into custom and adaptive recreational equipment, including the development of an adaptive paddleboard for people with disabilities.

Leslie also shares the joy of sports with her kids, ages 9 and 11 (she’s also an unabashed soccer mom) and trains them in the basics of standup paddleboarding.

Rich Early

Rich Early, softball, Coolibar Athlete 2014

As an eight-year-old in Phoenix, Arizona, Rich Early remembers accomplishing his first athletic goal: getting picked after school to play with the older boys on a real baseball field. Today, he spends winter months in the Pacific Northwest playing indoor tennis and working out in his home gym specifically to stay in shape for the sport he still loves: softball.

By itself this is another impressive accomplishment. A few years ago, Rich developed a sensitivity to UV rays. Sunscreen caused his eyes to itch and water. He was forced to quit playing tournament ball for several years. Coolibar clothing to the rescue – Rich was able to resume the sport this past May.

Rich’s team finished 2nd in the 65 age bracket at the Senior Winter Nationals games in Phoenix last November, as his family watched him play for the first time in more than 50 years. Rich uses his upcoming softball season, which will conclude at the Huntsman Senior Games in St. George, Utah in October, as inspiration as he pushes through his winter workout program.

Kaitlyn Price

Kaitlyn Price, golferA native Floridian, Kaitlyn grew up in the outdoors playing at the beach, soccer field or golf course. Although she played many different sports growing up, she found her true passion was golf. Playing and excelling in countless junior and amateur events gave her the opportunity to play collegiate golf at The University of Central Florida. A recent graduate with a degree in Public Administration and Sports Business Management, Kaitlyn is currently preparing to follow her dream to be a professional golfer.

Kaitlyn has realized the importance of skin protection from her mother who is a two-time melanoma survivor. Along with golfing, Kaitlyn enjoys cycling and boating.

 

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Events Sun Protection Clothing Wear Sun Protection

It’s Time for the Masters Tournament. Are You Sun Protected?

The Masters Tournament Coolibar Golf

Masters Tournament weekend is coming up, and for golfers it’s the unofficial start of the US golf season. Which gets us thinking: golf and sun protection go together. Wouldn’t it be great if you could order clothing that protected you from the sun and kept you cool out on the links?

If you had to ask, there’s something you should know. Coolibar has UPF 50+ golf collections for men and women.

Take a look at our ZnO Tropical Weight Polos and V-Neck Tees, for example, as garments that are ideal for golf: they keep you cool as well as sun protected. Here, zinc oxide particles are embedded into every fiber of the fabric before it is woven into a garment. So It’s guaranteed to block 98% of UVA and UVB rays, without being dense or heavy.

Best of all, this works for everyone whether you’re a scratch golfer or (like us) you play your best golf vicariously through someone on TV. Either way, let’s get ready for an exciting Masters Tournament – and a great season of golf!

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Events Inside Coolibar

Coolibar, American Cancer Society Lobby at Capitol for Teen Indoor Tanning Ban

Minnesota State Capitol

As state legislators across the US consider bills that would regulate or ban the use of indoor tanning beds by minors, Coolibar recently attended Tan-Free Teens Day in support of the Minnesota Skin Cancer Prevention Act (SF 1901) at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. The lobbying effort was part of a national initiative spearheaded by the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN), the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization.

Loren Adams, Coolibar: Sen. Ron Latz, DFL MN Dist 46

Volunteers from the Twin Cities and outstate communities gathered March 5 for a breakfast presentation where ACS-CAN staff from Minnesota and Washington, DC outlined the provisions of the bill and the legislative process. In the afternoon, staff and volunteers visited with Minnesota state senators and representatives at the Capitol, educCoolibar at Tan Free Teens Dayating and advocating for passage of SF 1901.

According to ACS-CAN, more than 100 volunteers had personal conversations with some 150 lawmakers, or 75% of those voting on the bill. The same day, the bill was debated in the Minnesota Senate Health Committee, where it passed easily.

Deb Thoman, MD - ACS Rebecca Thoman, MD & Friend

 

The bill has since passed through the Minnesota House and an additional hearing in the Senate. It will likely be bundled with other healthcare-related bills and then voted on by the entire Senate, according to Rebecca Thoman, M.D. of the American Cancer Society.

Who is Considering Measures for Tan-Free Teens?

All of this takes place as two states recently passed legislation restricting indoor tanning for minors. At least five other states are considering similar bills in their legislatures:

  • Hawaii – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 18
  • Louisiana – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 17
  • Missouri – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 17
  • Pennsylvania – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 16
  • Nebraska – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 16

The following U.S. states currently ban indoor tanning for minors:

  • Indiana – Just passed a law banning the use of tanning beds for those 16 & under
  • Washington – Just passed a law banning the use of tanning beds for those 17 & under
  • California – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Illinois – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Nevada – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Texas – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Oregon – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Connecticut – bans tanning bed use for those under 17
  • New Jersey – bans tanning bed use for those under 17
  • Vermont – bans tanning bed use for those under 17
  • Wisconsin – bans tanning bed use for those under 16

Why Support the Ban?

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the the World Health Organization (WHO), “Policymakers should consider enacting measures, such as prohibiting minors and discouraging young adults from using indoor tanning facilities, to protect the general population from possible additional risk for melanoma.” And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people who begin tanning before age 35 have a 59% higher risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

In 2009, the WHO issued a warning that labeled ultraviolet rays from tanning beds a Class 1 carcinogen. Shortly afterward, Brazil became the first country to ban the use of indoor tanning equipment altogether. It is widely banned for anyone under 18 across Europe and in parts of Canada; about 15 other US states have some form of restriction, such as a parental consent requirement, for teens using indoor tanning equipment.

For information on cancer lobbying efforts in your state visit the events page at ACS-CAN.

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Wellness Warriors

Play Ball – Stay Safe!

Target Field Minneapolis

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 theZnO LS T-Shirt 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:

SunAWARE tips

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Inside Coolibar Sales and Specials What's Hot

…And Hello, Summer!

Coolibar Free Shipping +2

The Coolibar 2014 summer catalog begins arriving in mailboxes today. So we’ve got a deal to help kick off a terrific sunny summer!

Buy two or more Coolibar items now, and your order SHIPS FOR FREE. That’s right – free standard shipping on any order of 2 or more items.

Use code SHIP2 during online checkout or on the phone with a customer service representative.

Watch for your Coolibar summer catalog, arriving in mailboxes now through the next several weeks!

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Expert Rx

Healthy, Beautiful Skin is Made in the Kitchen

Tips for Healthy Skin

By Hanna Grinaker

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 gloSalmon and Egg - Coolibar Skin Carew.

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.

Avocado - for healthy skin - Coolibar3. 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!

 

Hanna GrinakerHannah 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.

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Events Inside Coolibar New Products

Tough Life: Our Summer 2014 Photo Shoot

Coolibar Summer Catalog 2014 Photo Shoot

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.

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Partner Athletes Sevve Stember

Lessons from Thin Air: Training at Altitude

Coolibar - Sevve Stember

By Sevve Stember

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.

Hard-Won Lessons

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.Sevve and Tyler - Coolibar

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.

Sevve and Andrea, expecting a long climb

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.

Coolibar - Sevve Stember skiing Sevve Stember, going out a little too fast

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.

 

Climber and multiple-sport athlete Sevve StemberSevve 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.”

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Kristie Cranford

Training in the Heat – What to Keep in Mind to Keep Yourself Cool and Safe

By Kristie Cranford

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.

Stay Hydrated

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, ICTAKristie 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.

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