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Coolibar Athletes

A Year in the Woods: Coolibar Athlete Sara Snyder

Coolibar Athlete Sara Snyder recently returned from a six month 2,663 mile trek from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through 24 National Forests, seven National Parks, five California State Parks, five Bureau of Land Management Resource Areas as well as other public and private lands. Sara shares her thoughts throughout her long hike.

Photo left: PCT trailhead at the start of Kennedy Meadows

By Sara Snyder:

A lot of people may wonder why I would choose to wake up each morning for five and a half months straight in the middle of nowhere to begin the daily routine of hiking a marathon. I can understand that curiosity, as my first few days on the Pacific Crest Trail had me asking the same sort of question.

Believe me, a lot went wrong in the beginning, from delays to running out of food and water, carrying too much weight, changing my daily miles to avoid certain folk, losing maps, broken tent poles, ripped shoes, to several physical ailments.

Everything that could go wrong, pretty much went wrong whenever it had the opportunity. The freedom I was craving so badly seemed guarded by a brigade of cactus spikes, ungodly traps and woes I had to fight for the prize. (Merely blessings in disguise, I’d always come to find out later), but at times, it would all become overwhelming. I had thought about postponing the adventure a year, and even quitting when things got really out of control, but I’d always come back to the same decision… to push through all the obstacles and fulfill my dream to hike from border to border.

Sara exploring the surrounding areas before heading back out to Mt. Whitney (the tallest mountain in the lower 48)

There were a lot of odd moments where I sensed the universe actually wouldn’t allow me to quit, even if I wanted to. No matter how difficult things became, someone, or something would get me through the struggle.

Everything would always work out in the end and seemingly occur for a reason, no matter how crazy. Other days it felt like I’d be given the choice to leave, as if I were being tested, but I was never silly enough to do it. I knew in those times of uncertainty that there was just too much I’d regret and miss out on, so I’d continue north – the right choice of course. The only choice that made sense.

Quickly, the entire spectrum of trail life for me, to put it mildly, became addicting, just as I thought it would with a little bit of patience, hard work, and trust. At the start, I think I was more in love with the dream than the doing, but warm ups never seem to give the full impression. This I always knew. Then one day, finally conquering the monotonous desert, it all hit me. I was in fact actually doing this…and doing a pretty good job. I was impressed with myself, and began to fall hard in love with the reality, who I was turning into, as well as oddly, the taste of dirt. This is what I wanted, and this is what I got, and I was going to embrace every second of it, bad or good. It was all good now. Perfect in fact. The Sierras and Cascades were awaiting my arrival, and I was eagerly getting myself to them. I felt stronger and more confident than ever before, and even more so with every day that passed.

Sara recovering from a foot injury

Each day was a new adventure filled with mystery and excitement, where expecting the unexpected became natural law. Some cold misty mornings I’d awake with the brief thought that the day would just be another routine day on the trail. Possibly nothing special, but I was proven wrong each and every time I would dare to think such a thing. From the scenery to the people, weather, wildlife and town hitches, every day was unique, challenging and memorable.

Upon reaching the Canadian border in a snowy white blur I was able to say that I never exactly doubted my capabilities; however, it definitely took a few mountain passes to rough me into great shape physically.

This journey was not only a physical endurance test, but involved a complete mental and spiritual transformation of my entire being. It had me humbled and in awe, most of the time having to rely on the kindness of strangers, which was for me, a deeply unfamiliar and beautiful experience in itself. I have stories engraved in my memory that I couldn’t even begin to ask anyone to believe if I tried my hardest. In a good way, it has completely changed my life and my character forever.

I think there are those who like to look at pictures or videos of other people doing amazing things and get lost in their stories. For whatever reason, some of these same people seem to think that they can’t ever be the person creating their own story / becoming the story. This is upsetting to me. Dreamers who make excuses as to why they think they can’t actually live should know that those who do choose to live see their dreams as the best reason to wake up each and every morning. Dreams exist for a reason. We all have them. The choice to fulfill them is personal, and what keeps me fueled. I choose to fulfill mine, because we only have so much time in the physical world. Why waste the opportunity?

You’d be amazed by what you have been missing out on.

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Inside Coolibar Wear Sun Protection

Coolibar: Seal of Recommendation

Did you know Coolibar was the first sun protective clothing company to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s (SCF) seal of recommendation? That’s right, the first! Founded by dermatologist, Perry Robins, the SCF is an independent non-profit organization, focused on promoting the dangers of sun exposure, as well as the importance of prevention.

The SCF states, To earn the Seal of Recommendation, a manufacturer must provide scientific data showing that its product sufficiently and safely aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.” The scientific data is reviewed by a committee of notable Photo Biologists- experts on the damaging effects of UV exposure.

Coolibar carries the traditional seal of recommendation, which is used for all sun protection products. To receive the seal, products have to pass a number of tests including, having a UPF rating of 30 or higher, meeting acceptable test results according to the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists method and our hats must have a brim width of at least three inches.

So, why is the seal of recommendation imperative to Coolibar? Currently, the FDA does not regulate sun protective clothing. In addition to testing performed at independent laboratories, the seal of recommendation is Coolibar’s way of providing customers with peace of mind, knowing that products are guaranteed to block 98% of the harmful UVA and UVB rays. We provide quality sun protection, it’s all we do. While wearing our sun protective products, you can go ahead and enjoy your vacation with your family, or play tennis all day.

Is the SCF seal of recommendation something you look for, before you purchase your sun protective products?    

 

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SunAWARE

Perfect Skin Protection – Vol. 2, No. 1

The latest issue of Perfect Skin Protection from SunAWARE just hit the Apple Newsstand this week. And if you haven’t yet read through this publication, you should. It’s FREE and chock full of the latest advice on skin protection from leading dermatologists, health & beauty experts, educators and skin cancer survivors. Plus, this issue features an article by Coolibar’s very own, President John Barrow.

“These articles, especially the special section, demonstrate that skin protection, far from being a personal or cosmetic issue, is a global concern, affecting the health and well-being of individuals and families in different countries around the world,” said Mary Mills Barrow, executive director of SunAWARE International Foundation.

“We urge our readers to take advantage of the advice offered by our experts and incorporate it into their daily routines, for themselves and for their families,” she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available on the Apple Newsstand in the Health Category or by clicking here: http://bit.ly/SRrvV0.

Enjoy and share!

Be SunAWARE. Be safe.

 

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Coolibar Athletes Sunscreens and Lotions

Vanicream: a soothing solution for winter dry skin

Winter’s dry air can leave skin feeling sore, itchy and uncomfortable — especially if you don’t have a skin care routine that works with your specific skin type. Coolibar Athlete Kristie Cranford has struggled with finding a lotion for the dry winter months, and with sensitive skin, she has tried numerous skin care products! Before spending another cent on a new lotion this winter, she remembered the Vanicream she received from Coolibar.

“I take my words back, all of them,” says Kristie.

“When I became a Coolibar athlete we were able to try some items from the skin care line.  I chose Vanicream, a moisturizing skin cream.

I have sensitive skin and I live in the desert. It is hot and dry.  I have lotion in my house, in my car, in my desk at work, in my purse, pretty much everywhere.  You could say I have a lotion problem. 

I was excited to try something new.  As I pulled it out of the box, was excited. I put some on.  I wrinkled my nose. It was thick, sticky.  It didn’t smell pretty, it had no odor at all to be honest.  I was not impressed.  I tossed it under my bathroom sink.

Fast forward to a very cold, dry and windy Las Vegas winter.  My hands hurt.  They were dry, cracking.  My back was so dry I could not sleep at night it itched so much.  My son, who inherited sensitive skin from me, had the same problem with his back.  I tried everything in my house.  Nothing was working.  I have suffered through every dry winter. I have yet to find a lotion that has helped. Then I remembered…

I went underneath my bathroom sink and pulled out the Vanicream.  Unlike other lotions when I put it on, my hands did not sting…it soothed.  Instantly I felt relief.  It absorbed quickly.  I put some on my son’s back, I put some on mine.  The itch went away.

Have you ever put on lotion to discover you are now trapped in the room because you cannot turn the doorknob because your hands are so slippery?  It doesn’t happen with Vanicream.  It absorbs quickly leaving the skin silky soft.

It is odorless, completely.  Not like some lotions that claim to be odorless but they have a medicinal smell.  It truly is odorless. 

So I take my words back, all of them.  Vanicream soothed my dry, cracking skin in the first application.  It is easy to spread and is quickly absorbed leaving skin soft and smooth.  It is odorless so if you choose to wear a fragrance it does not compete. 

I have new words for Vanicream:  I love it.”

Browse Vanicream options.

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Inside Coolibar New Products What's Hot

Coolibar spring 2013 photo shoot: behind-the-scenes

Spring 2013 Coolibar Behind the Scenes

Behind-the-scenes footage from Coolibar’s spring 2013 photo shoot, including a sneak peak at our new UPF 50+ sunwear. Look for our catalog in your mailbox starting January 21 (may arrive anytime within a three week time frame). 

Click the first photo below to view them all.

Shop www.coolibar.com starting January 21st for new products!

[nggallery id=32]

Let us know what you’re most excited about. Comment below!

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SunAWARE

Skin Benefits from Exercise Too

Exercising benefits your heart, lungs and mental health – fairly common knowledge these days. But did you know exercise benefits your skin too, and can even help your skin stay younger looking longer?

Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including to your skin. According to dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, in a WebMD article, she cites, “Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells.” Since exercise improves circulation, it makes it easier to cleanse skin from the inside-out, keeping skin healthy and vibrant looking!

If you exercise outdoors, be aware that the sun can have reverse effects on skin. You don’t want to spoil all the hard work you put into looking and feeling great! UV exposure from the sun can damage and age skin that’s not well protected. Following tips from SunAWARE, a non-profit helping prevent and detect skin cancers, will help you avoid sunburn and get the maximum benefits exercise provides.

SunAWARE

A – Avoid unprotected UV exposure and avoid peak sun hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).

W – Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, tights/pants, and wide-brimmed hat and UV sunglasses. This may seem warm, but numerous companies, including Coolibar, are manufacturing lightweight, moisture wicking UPF materials. Sun protective clothing actually keeps you cooler since your skin is not in direct contact with the sun.

A – Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Reapply after sweating, swimming or as recommended on the label. Athletes: look for a sport sunscreen that’s oil-free.

R – Routinely examine your skin for changes. Seek a dermatologist if you notice anything suspicious.

E – Educate on the need to be SunAWARE.

Exercising may exacerbate existing skin problems such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. However, the benefits far outweigh the possible skin side-effects from exercise. Additionally, by working with your dermatologist, you’ll likely find solutions to battle your skin issues while getting all benefits exercise has to offer.

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Sun Protection Clothing What our customers say

Traveling to Paradise in Coolibar

After a lifetime of holidays abroad, Suzanne Morphet combined her passion for travel with her profession as a news reporter and became a travel writer. Suzanne shares her latest venture to Marquesas Islands – which she calls a tropical paradise – as well as the Coolibar gear she took along.

“Before my recent cruise through the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific I looked for clothing that would protect me from the harsh equatorial sun. But I also wanted clothes that would be comfortable in the heat and stylish.  I was pleased to discover Coolibar, which uses innovative new fabrics and technology to make clothes that are breathable and a pleasure to wear.

For ease of travel, I pack lightly. I took just one small suitcase for my two-week cruise, with only clothes that I could wash and hang-dry overnight. Coolibar clothes fit the bill perfectly. These are some of my favorites:

Sport Shirt: I wore this shirt many of the days we went ashore. It’s light as a feather, with a hidden front pocket for a passport or money. I loved the vibrant color (Lagoon) and got lots of compliments on it.

ZnO Sun Wrap: This is what I mean by innovative technology.  The ZnO line is made with bamboo cotton embedded with micro-particles of zinc oxide. Sounds like sunscreen for your skin, but there’s no messy application. It’s safe to say I wore my ZnO Sun Wrap every day. It kept me comfortable in air-conditioned restaurants or out on deck late at night while stargazing.

ZnO Beach Pants: They might be considered beach pants, but I got away wearing them into town, to market, sightseeing, you-name-it. Indispensable, they are the perfect accompaniment to the Sport Shirt or other sun-protective shirt. Mine are white and I worried if they would stand up to frequent hand-washing but they did and still look like new.

Sun Shawl: Sometimes I just wanted to wear my skimpiest bathing suit and lie in the sun. That’s when my sun shawl came in handy. It’s long enough to cover me from head to toe. And it’s so lightweight I wouldn’t heat up underneath it. Perfect for lying poolside and reading. 

ZnO Maxi Dress: You can dress it up or down. Nicely fitted, but not clingy. Does double duty as a sundress and a dinner dress.  I never thought a little black dress could be so versatile!”

For an article and more on her in the Marquesas Islands, see Suzanne’s article in The Dallas Morning News.

For more on Suzanne Morphet, visit her website: http://www.suzannemorphet.com/

Suzanne ran into two more Coolibar customers on the freighter! 🙂
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Wellness Warriors

Winter fitness tips from Bob Greene

Bob Greene is an exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer specializing in fitness, metabolism, and weight loss. Greene is the creator of Best Life, a diet and fitness plan, and Best Life Foods, author of “20 Years Younger” and numerous other health books. As an avid exerciser, he wishes to share his winter fitness gear picks with you!

“I usually prefer outdoor workouts to indoor workouts—you don’t have to worry about fighting for the treadmill at the gym, the scenery can be inspiring and the fresh air is invigorating,” says Greene. “But as the temperature drops, you might be tempted to head indoors. Don’t let the weather ruin your workout plans. Use the tips below to stay warm until spring.

Step One: Select the right shirt. Layers are an exerciser’s best friend. Your first layer should consist of a long-sleeve undershirt (I love turtleneck and mock turtleneck athletic wear) made of wicking fabric without any buttons or zippers. Then, cover it with a sweatshirt made of a “Polar-guard” type of material. If needed, add a final layer of a wind-resistant shell or jacket. Even though it’s cooler out, you still have to worry about sun protection. I recommend choosing sun-protective clothing, like those sold from Coolibar.

Coolibar UPF 50 Long Sleeve Fitness Shirt

Step Two: Go light on your lower half. Your legs will stay pretty warm once you get going so you don’t need as many layers on your lower half. Jogging tights are a good option because they don’t move and won’t chafe your skin. When it’s cold, you can add a layer of pants made of a “Polar-guard” type of material.

Step Three: Don’t forget about your feet. Don’t just throw any old socks on your feet. To keep your toes toasty, steer clear of cotton socks—once they get wet, they stay wet! Go for a sock made of material that wicks moisture away from the skin (you can find them at athletic specialty stores).

Step Four: Accessorize. Your body loses a large amount of heat through your head; you can retain heat by wearing a head covering of some sort. A simple ski cap or headband that covers your ears will work on most days. When it’s very cold, you may want to go with a full head mask (look for one made of a wicking material; running specialty stores sell them.) Also, you may want to consider investing in running gloves. They protect you from the cold and sun damage. Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen.”

Read more from Bob Greene and other health experts on The Best Life Blog.

See full winter fitness article here: http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/11/stay-warm-strategies-for-winters-outdoor-workouts/

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Events

Winter Solstice means sunny days ahead

Good news for the Northern Hemisphere, for the next six months days will get longer and brighter! Today, during Winter Solstice (6:12 am EST), the Northern Hemisphere was tipped as far away from the sun as it gets, so now daylight will begin to increase faster the farther north you go

The Science of solstice:
Varied seasons across the globe are possible because of the Earth’s axial tilt. As the Earth orbits the Sun, the axis stays pointed in one direction on the sky. So during the winter, the Northern Hemisphere is tipped away from sun. Thus, the Sun is lower in the sky; it heats the ground less efficiently; and days are shorter.

Photo credit: Dna-webmaster, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AxialTiltObliquity.png

No Doomsday, just sunnier celebrations ahead!
The middle of winter and brighter days is something to celebrate. It was for ancient cultures as well! While Winter Solstice is celebrated in numerous ways across the globe and by each culture, the Northern Hemisphere cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Resources: Slate.com; WashingtonPost.com; National Geographic

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Inside Coolibar

The season of thanks

This time of year we like to take a moment to give thanks. To start the conversation, we asked our friend Karl Dunbar, DL Coach for the New York Jets, to share what he’s thankful for. Join in our conversation on Twitter @Coolibar #Thankful, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coolibar.

“This year in NY with the Jets, we have had a lot of story lines but none bigger than being thankful no matter the circumstances. 

I look back on the year and I see a Nation moving forward. My son is finishing his first fall of college with a 3.75 GPA, and his team is playing in the New Orleans Bowl against East Carolina University. My girls are healthy and playing basketball at the local high school and doing well. My wife and I are doing better after the loss of her mother and the graduation of our son from high school. I don’t know which one was harder.

My Jets have had a tough season and last Monday we were eliminated from the playoffs after our loss to the Titans. My faith keeps me strong no matter what goes on outside of my control. 

I’m also thankful that Coolibar has teamed up with me to help protect people with sensitive skin and I’m hopeful this off-season we can get on the road and speak to young kids about having a positive self-esteem no matter what their circumstances are. Happy Holidays to all of our followers and God Bless.”

– Coach Dunbar

Share what you are thankful for. Join in our conversation on Twitter @Coolibar #Thankful, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coolibar, or comment below.

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