The New Year is upon us. The annual practice of shedding the old and beginning anew unites us together all over the world. It’s a time to take stock of our lives and turn over a new leaf. Many people believe that our actions on this exciting night can influence the year ahead. In addition to fireworks and get-togethers, people around the globe celebrate the New Year with rituals to ensure the days ahead are filled with good fortune and the problems from the past year are put to rest.
In Denmark, people literally leap into the New Year by jumping off chairs to get rid of evil spirits and bring good luck. The Italians throw old things away (traditionally thrown right out the window) to get rid of problems and troubles. The English decorate with spruce trees and mistletoe twigs to symbolize renewal of life after the winter solstice and the Dutch burn their Christmas trees to purge the old and welcome the new.
In Mexico, if a travel-filled year is desired, it is good luck to walk around the block with an empty suitcase (or walk circles around a pile of empty suitcases in the middle of the room). Because round, circular foods are thought to bring good luck, people in Mexico and Spain eat 12 grapes at midnight, bringing good fortune for each of the upcoming months. Americans celebrate by watching the Ball Drop in Times Square (since 1907) and in southern parts of the United States people eat peas to ensure a life of plenty in the upcoming year.
How do you celebrate the New Year? We’d love to hear how you and your family take stock of your lives and turn over a new leaf!
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us…”
Travel is good for the soul. Immersed in new surroundings you learn, explore and experience the unknown, which broadens your mind and makes you grow as a human. Turns out, travel provides some additional benefits.
The US Travel Association launched a project this year called The Travel Effect, a multi-year, multimillion dollar research and marketing campaign to study and publicize the benefits of travel. “What we’ve long known anecdotally, we will now prove through authoritative research: travel has a positive effect on health, relationships, business performance and the well-being of communities,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
Below are a few statistics revealed by The Travel Effect.
57% of people who traveled as a children went to COLLEGE.
Adults who went on domestic education trips during their youth EARN $5000 MORE OR 12% GREATER INCOME than those who took no trips.
85% of talent managers at “use it or lose it PTO” organizations agree that employees who take time off are “more productive in jobs.”
Family vacation memories last a lifetime, 62% of adults remember vacation from a young age.
And if that’s not enough motivation to book a ticket, check out this video from BuzzFeed.
You belong in the sun, Coolibar takes you there. Bon Voyage!
If you live in the state of Minnesota, Mr. John Randle needs no introduction. For those of you not familiar, Randle is the former defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings and NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer known for his sacks, elaborate black face paint, energy and his mouth. In fact, they say this guy never shuts up, earning him the nickname “Motor Mouth.”
We love a guy with something to say, especially when he’s reviewing our products. Randle has tested almost every athletic shirt on the market and knows a thing or two about workout wear. Because he’s already a fan of our first generation Fitness Shirt we couldn’t wait to get his opinion on our update to the 3D dri SUNTECT® fabric used in our fitness shirts, we’ve added a new cooling feature called COOLTECT™. Our Short and Long Sleeve Cool Fitness Shirts incorporate moisture activated cooling particles that lower skin temperature in addition to a quick dry mesh side panel for improved air flow making the shirts feel ultra cool and lightweight.
Randle, a fitness fanatic, works out 6 days a week – running, walking & resistance training. He had plenty of opportunities to test our Cool Fitness Shirt. Below is our Q&A session.
Coolibar: What’s the most important feature you look for in the fitness clothes you choose to wear? JR: Comfort, durability, longevity and style – it has to look good!
Coolibar: What are your overall thoughts on our Cool Fitness Shirt? JR: It works great! The shirt is comfortable, wicks sweat, washes well and looks good, unlike some competitors. Each time I wash it, it Looks Fresh. My body felt cooler and I could concentrate on my workout.
Coolibar: How well did the cooling dots perform? JR: They worked, I felt cooler, while my body heated up. It felt like a cool breeze was coming over me, or like I was running near a vent. I looked and there wasn’t a vent near me.
Coolibar: Did the fabric meet your expectations? JR: YES! It’s comfortable, breathable and cool. It’s not just a workout shirt, I wear it on the weekends and sometimes even sleep in it too, it’s that comfortable.
Coolibar: Did the fabric stick to your skin? JR: No, it’s light & breathable. I loved your fitness fabric before, but the new one is even better. It feels so much lighter.
Coolibar: What score would you give our Cool Fitness Shirt on comfort, scale of 1-10? JR: 10, I Love it! It’s very comfortable. Sometimes I even wash it when I get home so I have a clean one to wear the next day.
Coolibar: Would you recommend this garment to a friend? JR: Heck yeah! I want all my friends to try it.
Coolibar: Is sun protection important to you? JR: Yes, it’s Important for a healthy life. I think about sun protection, but probably not enough. Your clothing has changed my perception of sun protective clothing – Coolibar looks great and feels great. I wish more people knew about Coolibar and your products.
A final piece of advice from Pro Football Hall of Fame Member, John Randle: “Exercise is important to your overall health and you need to keep a positive perspective on it. Look forward to your workout and build it into your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.”
Thanks John for making Coolibar a part of your workouts. Our Cool Fitness Shirts for both men and women are 20% off, now through November 21, 2013.
Pasty. With one word, an instant emotional connection occurs. A word some degrade themselves with when spring comes and their skin is pale. According to Jen Adkins, mother and founder of Not Pasty, we’re not pasty. We’re simply the color of our skin. No more, no less. After a life-altering experience, Jen is now working to change people’s perceptions of what it is to be pasty – and feel beautiful with the skin you were given.
As a redhead with fair skin and many sunburns as a child, sun safety has always been important to me, especially now as the mom of two blond hair, fair boys. As a writer who focuses on skin care, I’ve always been a bit obsessive with sun protection. Most of my readers are interested in learning about wrinkle prevention and I love telling them that sunscreen is the #1 anti-aging product on the market. But recently, my need to stay on top of sun safety took on a whole new level.
Last year, my family of four grew by one with the addition of our amazing then 5-year-old daughter. It was love at first sight, literally. The very first night we were together, I noticed that there were quite a few little brown moles on her skin. Later at a checkup, her doctor decided they were probably clogged pores, but referred us to a dermatologist to be sure.
The dermatologist almost instantly told me she thought my daughter had skin cancer. Biopsies confirmed her thoughts. Those “clogged pores” turned out to be basal cell carcinomas and her body was full of them – hundreds, head to toe.
It’s quite life-changing to all of a sudden have a 5-year-old with skin cancer. Skin cancer is an adult cancer, or so I thought, but I was wrong. It took us some time to figure out how to do life with skin cancer and of course we’re still learning.
Imagine knowing that going out in the sun will increase the number of cancers tumors on your child’s body, yet also knowing that your child doesn’t care about that and just wants to be a normal child. It is a tough balance trying to come up with ways to allow her to be that normal child while taking on the adult responsibility of keeping her skin safe. Our sun safety habits as a family have taken top priority, not just for our daughter, but for all five of us.
In June of 2013, after living with skin cancer for over a year and writing about skin for more than five years, I launched a new website called Not Pasty. We chose the name Not Pasty as a jab at those who use the term “pasty” to degrade fair skin. Not Pasty is about sun safety, self-love and even a bit of beauty. It’s a place where women can go to learn about enjoying sun safely, share their stories of self-love and encourage others in their journey of self-acceptance.
Because I write about the skin for millions of readers and live with skin cancer in my household every day, switching the focus of general skin topics to sun safety was an easy step for me and I have a lot of knowledge to share. My goal at Not Pasty is to tell sun truths, not fads or myths. I always fall on the side of caution and am constantly in contact with top doctors and experts around the country when questions arise.
I want Not Pasty to be the place people go to learn and discuss sun safety – where people can learn facts and tips, share what sun protection products they are using and learn about new ones. And we love when women share their personal stories – we call them Real Stories – about how they walked through the hard and came out ahead.
Most importantly, I want to encourage women to see their natural skin color as unique and beautiful and come to realize how ridiculous it is to brown their skin in the sun in order to achieve some silly idea of media-pushed beauty.
I’d love to be a part of changing the way the world thinks about natural skin tones, and I’d love to have you be a part of it with us.
Staying active can be a challenge when our busy schedules interfere with our free time. We all know how this feels! And so the challenge is to find that motivation and hold on to it so we can enjoy our summer activities.
For me, getting ready for summer is where it starts. I enjoy being outdoors and most of my summer activities involve me being in a swimsuit. This is my motivation! We all tend to work out a little less in the cold winter months. Not to mention eat more during the holidays! So after all of the fuss is over, and the New Year starts, it is time for me to begin.
I set little goals since I like instant results and want to ensure I don’t lose my motivation by getting discouraged. Another way I make sure I achieve my goals is by posting them on my Motivate webpage. I set up this page for myself, my family and friends so we can help keep each other on track. We post what workout we want to do that day and then we have to do it! We all help each other by checking in with each other and seeing how we all do.
My goal for this summer involves my new favorite sport — SUP Yoga. This is yoga on a stand up paddle board which is taught at Outdoor to the Core SUP LV at Lake Las Vegas. Their class introduced an entirely new element to yoga by adding constant balance which builds and strengthens core muscles. I am working to be able to do a headstand on the paddle board! Of course means I will need to be outdoors on the water practicing as much as possible.
Thanks to the great Coolibar products, I can be out in the sun practicing longer than I could before. The sun protective material keeps me cool, and when it gets wet, it does not get heavy. It dries fast! It is also very flexible which is necessary in order for me to complete many of the positions in yoga. I was happily surprised when I attempted the wheel yoga pose and did not feel any restrictions from the Coolibar clothing.
So this spring and summer as you are setting goals for yourself remember to start small. Gradually build to your long term goal so you don’t get burnt out and quit. And when you are out in the sun, don’t forget that staying sun protected is important!
Motivation is one of a few key ingredients for success. I stay motivated by having goals to train for and think about. Additionally, I try to plan some short weekend trips as well as a couple larger road trips. These are at the core of what motivates me to stay active because in order to be successful on the road, I must be prepare during the spring and summer. I think of my trips as “final exams” where I put together months of hard work and enjoy some of the premier climbing destinations and routes in the world. Once I’ve worked hard, I can truly savor each climb and know that I’ve prepared myself to the best of my ability.
Thinking more locally, I always have a “project” that I am working on. In non-climber terms, this means that there is a really hard route that I am figuring out the moves on and working towards climbing it with no falls-that could happen the next week or the next year. Whatever your recreational outlet is, set a goal that is attainable but is beyond what you’ve ever accomplished before. You must also believe in yourself and your ability to attain levels that you’ve never thought were possible.
My advice to anyone that is looking to stay active outdoors is to find an outdoor sport or hobby that brings you joy, satisfaction, and meaning. Getting “burnt out” out happens all too often because people do not love what they are doing. If you do not love running, don’t run. Instead, walk, play soccer, bike,….the list goes on. Try many different activities until you find the one or two that really seems to fit you, your family, and your lifestyle. At the end of the day, you should feel like you spent your time doing exactly what you wanted to do.
Find some people to be active with. One of the most enjoyable parts of climbing or skiing for me is the fantastic company that I get to do those activities with. Lastly, keep a journal where you write down the date, what you did, length of time, and any other short notes you want. I’ve found the key to keeping a training log that you actually use is to keep entries really short. That way, you are more likely to continue using your training journal if it does not require much time to maintain it. This written record of activity is a good visual reminder of how many days you’ve been active in a week. It can be a reminder that you are working hard and where you want to be or a reminder that you need to get outdoors more and get some physical activity.
What motivates me to get active? First and foremost, a tangible goal. Whether it’s your first 5K, a half ironman or a marathon there is nothing like setting a goal, training for it and achieving success. It provides a sense of accomplishment and pride. No need for anyone else to pat you on the back. Crossing the finish line after months of training is proof enough of a job well done. It doesn’t matter that I’ve never won a race or been on the podium. What is important is that I’m out there doing it, which is a lot more than many others can say.
So what helps me get up before dawn to train for events? Well, honestly, a lot of self talk while I’m lying in bed. It usually goes something like this: “Sarah, get up. You know you’ll feel better after you get your workout in. Five more minutes of the snooze button isn’t going to make a difference. Get up. Get UP! GET-OUT-OF-BED!” Once up, I really rely on music to get me going. Loud music. My work out music playlist is eclectic and some would say, I’m sure, dated. But go ahead and tell me when you hear “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor in the middle of a long run you wouldn’t smile. Tell me you wouldn’t pick up that pace just a little bit more and pretend you are about to enter the ring with Mr. T or cross the finish line in Kona. I’ve also been known to belt out Guns n Roses while running and have taught my daughter the chorus to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”. What can I say? Cheesy music gets me going.
And that is exactly where I found myself this morning. Yelling at myself to get out of bed and go run. To continue with my training for this goal I set for myself back in October. But this morning, it was a little bit more emotional for me than usual. The explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th, shook me more than I expected.
Yesterday, the day after the event, I got up and got in the pool no problem and then ran on the treadmill, numb to the non-stop media coverage in front of me of what happened in my hometown. Everyone I knew who was running was safe. I had the day off from work and wasn’t affected by the emergency protocol set into place at the hospital. I was fine. My family was fine. Except that I’m not fine. I am sad. I’m scared. I’m worried about the future. And I’m mad. Much has been written in the past two days about the meaning of Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon to us Bostonians, and I won’t attempt to re-write what’s already in print. Instead, I will say that when I finally got out to the end of my driveway this morning, put on my loud, cheesy music and went for a run, what motivated me more than anything was an overwhelming sense of community. I am a native of the Common wealth of Massachusetts, work in the city of Boston, years ago experienced first hand the crowds lining Boylston St. encouraging even the back-of-the-pack bandit runners like me towards the finish line. To not get up and go for a run on such a beautiful New England spring morning would be to let the bad guys win; and I just can’t let that happen. Cue up Survivor. Rocky. “Risin’ up, back on the street…” Cheesy? Cliché? Yes, but I ran. And I may have been imagining it, but I swear all the other runners I saw this morning smiled a bit bigger, nodded with more intention and gave off a sense of solidarity I’ve never noticed before.
What I’ve always known, but tend to forget sometimes in the busyness of life, is that running, biking and swimming are also good for my mental health. Clearly this morning’s run was a cathartic and healing experience for me. Still saddened by the events of earlier in the week, I am now able to deal with that grief and get back to my daily life. Score 1 more for the good guys.
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.
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!
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.