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July is UV Safety Month!

July - UV Safety Month

It seems there is a month for everything, but this one comes directly from the US Department of Health and Human Services: it’s UV Safety Month!

This makes sense. July is one of the hottest months in the US, and it’s also right in the middle of prime vacation time. As we know, UV rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer, which is the nation’s most common type of cancer. And that’s not to mention the painful sunburns, dry skin and wrinkles that UV rays can cause.

Coolibar supports the efforts of the United States HHS department and the Federal Occupational Health agency to raise awareness about skin cancer and the dangers of UV rays. They include encouraging families to adopt good sun safety habits together, to include wearing sunscreen; we would add don’t forget your UPF 50+ sun protective clothing!

Watch for posts throughout July about UV safety for your skin and even for your eyes!

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

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Coolibar Athletes Rich Early

Age, Opposing Team – But Not Sun – Are My Biggest Adversaries

Rich Early - Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athlete

By Rich Early, 2014 Coolibar Sponsored Athlete

I play for a Senior Softball age 65 tournament team that travels throughout Oregon and Washington, and will also play in Reno, Nevada and St. George, Utah this year. To play competitive tournament softball I work out at home five days a week at 6 am. I may not be the fastest player on the circuit but I work out hard in order to at least be in the conversation.

Working out at home has several advantages besides not having to go out into the cold and drive 10-15 minutes to a gym. Not having to share equipment and deal with distractions is a plus.

I primarily do multi-jointed exercises for a full body workout which I perform using a three-day rotation. This rotation consists of chest on day one, back on day two, and shoulders on day three. I do three sets of two exercises for these muscle groups along with core work and lower body exercises. On the next three-day rotation I select different exercises to perform for each muscle group, along with changing core and lower body exercises. I rotate between strength days and endurance days by altering the weight and the repetitions. Using the three-day rotating system Monday through Friday creates different days during the week I perform the exercise. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and I’ve found it eliminates boredom and training ruts.

The home gym workouts also allow me to get the most out of practice on the ball field. Since we are able to use a synthetic turf field, we are out two days a week for hitting and fielding practice as long as it’s not too rainy or cold. At this time I am able to work on increasing running speed and strengthening my throwing arm. At our age we have to keep working on our abilities to hold off their decline.

Even on the cloudy and rainy days at practice I have to be aware of UV exposure and make sure that I’m protecting myself. When the sun is out in its glory I have to cover up as much as I can to block out the UV rays.

Before I discovered Coolibar clothing I envisioned I would burn up and explode like a vampire if the sun touched me. Ok, a little exaggerated, but that is how I felt.

Now with the Coolibar Sun Gaiter, the ZnO Long-Sleeve shirt or the new Cool Long-Sleeve Fitness Shirt I’m covered up and confident in my sun protection. I have to admit that I was self-conscious the first time I wore the gaiter to cover my entire head, neck and ears. It was short-lived, after playing a weekend of softball and not having any of the problems that come with too much sun exposure. It may sound silly but now I want the other players and fans to notice me wearing Coolibar sun protection. It makes me want to play better!

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Coolibar Athletes Mekia Earle

Deadlines! Even in Hawaii, Being a Mom, Teacher & Athlete Requires Planning (and Stamina)

Mekia Earle - Coolibar Sonsored Athlete 2014

Another Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athlete…

By Mekia Earle

I know that the parents out there will relate to my morning frenzy. Some may call it a routine, I suppose, but I prefer to call it “somewhat controlled chaos.”

As a teacher, I need to get to work by 7:15 am to prepare for the three hundred-plus other keiki (Hawaiian for children) in my life. This means that I am up by 5:45 am and am making the fruit and kale smoothie for the whole family by 6:00. And that’s the relaxing part. The craziness starts with my own two kids up a few minutes later, out of PJs, into clothes, breakfast, and out the door by 6:45. Deadlines!

Yes, my wonderful husband helps in this process, too.  He uses the double stroller and runs our son to day-care and then continues his trek taking our daughter to preschool.  He needs the exercise.

Because both kids will be outside playing in the tropical sun, my last two duties as morning mom are applying a thick layer of sunscreen to each and then sending them off running up the hill with two, make that three, kisses. My husband usually deserves one, too.

Then I head to school, but not before I also lather up with sunscreen as I, like my kids, will be outside for most of the day. My sunscreens of choice are Elta MD and Neutrogena – both highly recommended by the best dermatologist on the island.

Upon arrival at school, I set up the necessary equipment for the day’s lesson, which could range from gymnastic equipment to basketball hoops to obstacle courses. Teaching physical education is my dream job for many reasons.  I am lucky enough to play most of the day with eight- to ten-year-old girls, spreading the love of movement to the keiki. This is a built-in light workout; I don’t even have to make the time.

On my coffee breaks I get my heavier workout in.  I either hit the road running or do some kind of crossfit – a high-intensity workout in the school weight room.  These heavier workouts are my training for 10ks, which I hope I’ll feel ready for by summer.

As I tell my students, husband and children, it is very important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or even sooner after a very sweaty workout.

Also integral in sun protection is clothing. I prefer Coolibar fitness long sleeve shirts and have found that these are the best, most cost-effective and most comfortable way to keep cool and protected at the same time.

As you can tell, I wear multiple different hats in a day, literally and figuratively, and depending on the time of the day, I can be seen around the campus wearing anything from visors to large rim straw hats to Super Sport Hats. My all-time favorite hat would be the Ultra Sun Hat, which keeps my neck protected as well.

After school, I pick up the kids, although I hate to say, I drive. My muscles would revolt if I even considered doing the kid pick-up running. Once my family is all back home, the fun chaos starts all over (although it is much different than the morning chaos).

The only true deadline in the evenings is kid bedtime and depending on what book we are all reading together before bedtime, we can cheat a bit with that.

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